Deep Impact's Fireworks
NASA's Deep Impact mission kicked off Independence Day with some celestial fireworks, about 83 million miles from Earth. The mission's impactor spacecraft hit Comet Tempel 1 just before 2 a.m. EDT as a flyby spacecraft -- and other telescopes in space and on Earth -- watched.
At top left is a photo from the impactor as it approached, taken about six minutes before impact. An close up of the comet's surface, just a minute before impact, is seen at bottom left. The flyby spacecraft captured the bright "ejecta" from the collision, right, just 16 seconds after impact.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD
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