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Grand Tour Comets

Posted: 19.08.2023, 19:06
by Shadow-Dragon-777
(or well textures for comets if the base download of Celestia had them)
Since prehistoric times, comets have been observed once in a while as wandering stars. What were they? Did they foretell grave omens? Much was to be asked of comets. It was in the 18th century Edmund Halley predicted the orbit of the comet named after him and surely enough, the comet had returned, confirming comets orbited the sun like the planets. Afterward, comets were given designations and predicted orbits. This would change when in the 19th century, Comet Biela violently disintegrated at some point in its orbit splitting in two by 1846. The comet fragments were never seen following this. By this point it had become noted comets have two tails of differing materials, one that faced directly away from the sun; the ion tail, and one that roughly followed in orbit; the dust tail which had been discovered to be the source of meteor showers. In the 20th century as with much other thought in that century, comets were a source of paranoia, speculation, and exploration. One comet, Hale-Bopp had an infamous cult around it involving the comet being an alien spaceship. For scientists, comets were theorized to be "dirty snowballs" that explosively sublimated ices as the got near perihelion. This was partially proven as when the Giotto probe among others investigated comet Halley in the 80's, it found a snowball coated in tar black dust accumulated from many orbits of surface ice sublimation leaving behind impurities. Comet nuclei are less of dirty snowballs and more so porous dirty slush piles with a coating of concentrated rock and dust. Since then there have been several missions to comets including the comet tail sample return mission Stardust, the impactor aboard Deep Impact, and the Rosetta orbiter with the Philae lander.

This contains textures for all explored comets except 67P as cylindrical maps are impossible for it without severe problems. Notable is a 16K Tempel 1 texture I made from combining Deep Impact impactor imagery with a basemap.
However, the base download for Celestia contains BARELY any comets so these are just textures awaiting me to add bodies and models to apply them to. I plan to do this in future updates but for now, I plan to take a break from add on development.
Comet Borrelly. Like most comet nuclei, it's very dark.