Astronomers are preparing for an up-close and personal look next week at a comet, which they say will provide the best extended view yet at that class of objects in the solar system. sale ugg boots

The Deep Impact spacecraft will pass within 700 kilometres of comet Hartley 2 at a speed of 43, 000 kilometres per hour on November 4. Its mission, dubbed Epoxi, is to take high resolution images of the comet's nucleus using two telescopes with digital and an infrared spectrometer.

Scientists have captured close images of four other comets, but never one with such a small nucleus, and hope Hartley 2 will provide new details about the composition of comets and the formation of the solar system.

Deep Impact is being reassigned after delivering a probe to crash into the comet Tempel 1 in 2005, in the first such look at the inner material of a comet. The mother ship, however, remained in good condition, and NASA decided to repurpose the spacecraft for a look at another comet.

Hartley 2 is much smaller - with a nucleus that is about a kilometre wide - and more visible from Earth than Tempel 1, providing scientists a chance to compare the celestial objects. They also hope to learn about jets of material emitted by comets. discount ugg boots

The orbiting bodies of ice, dust and gas are considered key to learning about the formation of the solar system, because they are believed to be leftover building blocks of the early solar system that may have brought water and other organic compounds to Earth.

The craft will send back 64, 000 pictures with its camera, which is fine tuned enough to "distinguish between a car and a pickup truck" from 640 kilometres away, said Amy Walsh, lead engineer of the mission. Deep Impact has already been sending back images as it nears Hartley 2 and will continue to do so even after passing close by the comet, collecting a total of 11 weeks of data.

The comet was discovered by Australian astronomer Malcolm Hartley in 1986 during a survey of the southern sky.
Corruption survey: Somalia is the worst
Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore are seen as having the least corruption in the world, according to a just-published global survey.

Somalia is viewed as the most corrupt country.Classic ugg boots outlet

The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is published annually by Transparency International, a corruption monitoring organization based in Berlin, Germany.

"The surveys and assessments used to compile the index include questions relating to bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts," said a release accompanying the 2010 CPI.

Countries with the highest scores on the index are viewed as having the least corruption; countries with the lowest scores, the most.
Video: Survey ranks world corruption Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore each scored 9.3 out of a possible 10.

Rounding out the 10 highest scores: Finland and Sweden, 9.2; Canada, 8.9; Netherlands, 8.8; Australia and Switzerland, 8.7; and Norway, 8.6.

Japan was 17th on the list with a score of 7.8; the United Kingdom 20th (7.6); and the United States 22nd (7.1).ugg outlet online

At the bottom of the 178 countries Somalia scored 1.1, just below Afghanistan and Myanmar (1.4) and Iraq (1.5).

Among emerging economic powerhouses, Brazil was 69th on the list with a score of 3.7; China 78th (3.5); and India 87th (3.3).

Overall, Transparency International says of the survey: "These results indicate a serious corruption problem.

"With governments committing huge sums to tackle the world's most pressing problems, from the instability of financial markets to climate change and poverty, corruption remains an obstacle to achieving much needed progress."ugg boots 2010