This image of the surface of comet Tempel 1 was taken about 20 seconds before Deep Impact's probe crashed into the comet at 10:52 p.m. Pacific time, July 3. This particular region contains the impact site.
The bright patches in the image may consist of very smooth and reflective material, the composition of which will be determined by Deep Impact's spectrometer. Dark areas are in shadow and provide information about surface topography. Higher terrain appears rough relative to lower areas that appear very smooth. Is this a layered surface? And how did the smooth regions form? These are some of the questions the science team plans to address.
This image was taken by the probe's impactor targeting sensor.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD
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