Numerous predictions have been made by the team at Many of these predictions have gone against conventional wisdom and yet were remarkably accurate in their forecasts. The predictions have been captured on this page. A grade has been assigned to each prediction as follows:

Additionally, the grades may be altered as follows:

The font of the grade indicates the completeness of the prediction as follows:

Comets: Deep Impact

Feature Grade Prediction Observation
Missing Water A+ An abundance of water on or below the surface of the nucleus (the underlying assumption of the dirty snowball hypothesis) is unlikely. see 2005 July 04 The explosion removed many thousands of tons of material. But prior to impact, the calculated water output was 550 pounds per second; and not long after the impact, the calculated output was, once again, 550 pounds per second (See picture above regarding the return to previous level). So despite the impressive explosion, the envisioned sub-surface water refused to reveal itself. By NASA's own calculations, therefore, Deep Impact has only made matters worse for standard theory see 2005 July 16
Advance Flash A+ Tempel 1 has a low-eccentricity orbit. Therefore its charge imbalance with respect to its environment at perihelion is low. (It is a "low-voltage" comet.) Electrical interactions with Deep Impact may be slight, but they should be measurable if NASA will look for them. They would likely be similar to those of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 prior to striking Jupiter's atmosphere: The most obvious would be a flash (lightning-like discharge) shortly before impact. see 2005 July 04 What you see is something really surprising. First, there is a small flash, then there's a delay, then there's a big flash and the whole thing breaks loose see 2005 July 07
sheath around impactor ?+ The impactor may form a sheath around it as it enters the coma, becoming a "comet within a comet". see 2005 July 04 unknown
System Failure B+ Electrical stress may short out the electronics on board the impactor before impact. see 2005 July 04 Finally, why were there no images returned from the impactor seconds before impact? The lower right image is the last from the impactor camera. Thornhill predicted an electrical flash before impact. Yesterday's TPOD reported the surprise expressed by NASA's expert on high-velocity impacts, Peter Schultz, when two flashes were seen. The lack of images in the last few seconds would be explained simply if the impactor was hit by a "cometary lightning bolt" seconds before contact. The whiteout seen in the lower right quadrant indicates significant electrical discharging near the impact point. Data from the communications team and the flyby spacecraft cameras should decide the issue. see 2005 July 08
High-Energy Explosion A+ More energy will be released than expected because of the electrical contributions of the comet. see 2005 July 04 It is now well documented that every scientist associated with the project was stunned by the energetic outburst. see 2005 July 07
copious x-rays ?+ Copious X-rays will accompany discharges to the projectile, exceeding any reasonable model for X-ray production through the mechanics of impact. The intensity curve will be that of a lightning bolt (sudden onset, exponential decline) and may well include more than one peak. see 2005 July 04 So far there has been no indication that any instrument based near or on Earth had the temporal or spatial resolution to decide this issue see 2005 July 19
multiple craters A+ If the energy is distributed over several flashes, more than one crater on the comet nucleus could result - in addition to any impact crater see 2005 July 04 By tracing rays back to their source we noted the appearance of two ejecta centers immediately after the impact. see 2005 July 19
Arcs will be hotter than expected ?+ Any arcs generated will be hotter than can be explained by mechanical impact. If temperature measurements are made with sufficient resolution, they will be much higher than expected from impact heating. see 2005 July 04 Though we've found nothing from NASA relating to the temperatures of the explosion, we said that the discharge would be "hotter than can be explained by mechanical impact. If temperature measurements are made with sufficient resolution, they will be much higher than expected from impact heating". On this one we are confident as ever. see 2005 July 08
collimated jets A+ The discharge and/or impact may initiate a new jet on the nucleus (which will be collimated - filamentary - not sprayed out) and could even abruptly change the positions and intensities of other jets due to the sudden change in charge distribution on the comet nucleus. see 2005 July 04 We had seen very small white spots on photographs of comet Wild 2, and interpreted them as electrical arcs in the form of coronal discharges. The highest resolution photographs of Tempel 1, taken by the impactor, show numerous featureless patches of white-out, most located where the electrical hypothesis would put them - on the rims of craters and on the wall of cliffs rising above flat valley floors. This single feature, we believe, provides the smoking guns we have waited for. Since their initial suggestion that the patches could be highly reflective spots on the surface, we've heard no further comment on the subject. The signature of electric arcing should be clearly evident in the full stream of data now being analyzed. see 2005 July 19
Subsurface Composition A+ The impact/electrical discharge will not reveal primordial dirty ice, but the same composition as the surface. see 2005 July 04 In fact there was no change in measured water after the impact. Another observation from the Odin telescope in Sweden found that the total amount of water appeared to decrease after the impact, probably because of the injection of quantities of dry dust. see 2005 July 15
Crater Size ?+ The impact/electrical discharge will be into rock, not loosely consolidated ice and dust. The impact crater will be smaller than expected. see 2005 July 04 The occlusion of the impact site by the unexpected dust cloud leaves this question of crater size unanswered. (Some NASA investigators have suggested that the impact did not reach a deep level, but so far the pronouncements on the subject are quite contradictory because they're trying to explain things they did not expect). see 2005 July 19
Explosion Radiance A+ The most obvious would be a flash (lightning-like discharge) shortly before impact. see 2005 July 04 Also from the report in Science, in its recent report on the Deep Impact explosion: "The brightness increase lasted at least an order of magnitude longer than the expected crater formation time of 3 - 6 minutes." And the "…kinetic energy of the impactor is insufficient to provide the energy required to sublimate the observed amounts of water." see 2006 Febrary 17
Speed of Transport. ?+ Electrical theorists suggest that NASA carefully review the rate at which ejecta filled the coma. Could kinetic effects (the effects of physical impact alone) have generated such speeds? Acceleration of negatively charged material is a predictable effect of electric discharge. see 2005 July 04 unknown
Water in Coma A+ It is advisable that investigators look at water abundances both close to the nucleus and in the far coma to see to what extent water is being formed away from the nucleus by the combination of negative oxygen ions with protons from the solar wind. The logical concern here is that these reactions will, by improper reasoning, give inflated values for the water ice abundance in the comet nucleus. see 2005 July 04 readings of the relative abundance of OH should drop in the immediate wake of impact, while in the days after the impact abundances of OH should rise. Though this is inconceivable under the standard model, preliminary data released does suggest this pattern.
fine dust A+ The primary distinction between a comet and an asteroid is that, due to its elliptical orbit, electrical arcing and "electrostatic cleaning" will clean the nucleus' surface, leaving little or no dust or debris on it. see 2005 July 04 Both the volume of dust and its extraordinarily fine texture have created mysteries for cometologists. The ejected dust appears to be as fine as talcum powder. In no sense was this expected. But it is characteristic of cathode sputtering, a process used industrially to create super-fine deposits or coatings from cathode materials. see 2006 Febrary 17
surface geology A+ The model predicts a sculpted surface, distinguished by sharply defined craters, valleys, mesas, and ridges - the opposite of the softened relief expected of a sublimating dirty snowball. (A chunk of ice melting in the Sun loses its sharp relief, just like a scoop of melting ice cream.) see 2005 July 04 …makes an observation in a NASA release on Deep Impact all the more noteworthy: "The image [of the nucleus] reveals topographic features, including ridges, scalloped edges and possibly impact craters formed long ago". see 2005 July 08
heavy elements ?+ If an arc is struck between the comet nucleus and the projectile, we may expect to see metals such as Li, Na, K, Ca, Mg and Fe in a flash spectrum before impact. They will have been removed from the rocky comet in the cathode arc. see 2005 July 04 unknown
negative ions ?+ Thornhill and his colleagues urge NASA investigators to look for an abundance of negative ions in the impact ejecta. see 2005 July 04 unknown

Mars: Themis

Feature Grade Prediction Observation
Dust devils at heart of dust storm A+ The global dust storm that engulfed the planet Mars in August and September of 2001, involved a packed assembly of dust devils carrying great volumes of Martian dust into billowing clouds. see 2005 Nov 09 The image above, released December 30, 2003, shows apparent vortices (a word that would not be used by NASA scientists) rising into billowing clouds from the margins of the south polar ice cap in the Martian summer. The caption accompanying the release, reads: "Like billowing smoke from a brush fire, clouds of dust are seen streaming off the edge of the Martian south polar cap. The southern hemisphere is in the middle of its summer season and experiencing a multitude of small dust storms like this one. The net effect is an increasingly dusty atmosphere across the whole planet and with it, warmer atmospheric temperatures." see 2007 May 9


Feature Grade Prediction Observation
Moving Geysers A+ Electrical theorist Wallace Thornhill and his colleagues suggest there is no geyser of subsurface water analogous to the Yellowstone geyser. They say that if NASA will look they will find that the jets move across the surface. And in their motion across the surface, the electric arcs that produce the jets are creating the observed channels as they excavate material from the surface and accelerate it into space. see 2006 Mar 13 It turns out that NASA has had sufficient data in hand for at least several months confirming that the jets do indeed move across the surface (see for example this video, in which the jets move in opposition to the visual rotation of the sphere). see 2006 Nov 8


Feature Grade Prediction Observation
Moving Plumes A+ the plumes are the jets of cathode arcs, and they do not explode from a volcanic vent but move around and erode the periphery of dark areas (called "lava lakes" by planetary geologists) see 2004 Dec 15 None of the expected volcanic vents could be found. Rather, the plumes of the volcanoes are actually moving across the surface of Io, an exclamation point being provided by the plume of Prometheus which, in the years since Voyager, has moved more than 80 kilometers. see 2004 Dec 15
Hot Plumes A+ the vents of the "volcanic" plumes will be much hotter than lava. see 2004 Dec 15 The spacecraft measured the temperatures of Io's volcanic hot spots and gave readings, averaged over a pixel, that were hotter than any lava on Earth - in fact, too hot to be measured by Galileo's instruments. see 2004 Dec 15
Cool "lava lakes" A+ the "lava lakes" themselves are merely the solid surface of Io etched electrically by cathode arcs and exposed from beneath the sulfur dioxide "snow" deposited by continuous discharge activity. Therefore, they will not reveal the expected heat of a recent lava flow. see 2004 Dec 15 As predicted by Thornhill, the discharging was discovered to be focused on the edges of the so-called lava lakes, though the rest of these dark fields are comparatively cold. see 2004 Dec 15