IMPACT! Scientists blast projectile into comet
July 4, 2005
Special to World Science
Scientists shot a washing machine-sized projectile into a comet, eight times faster than a rifle bullet. The impact created an enormous blast visible on images sent back to Earth, and whose size surprised even some mission scientists.
This image from NASA TV is a view from Deep Impact's flyby showing the impactor colliding with comet Tempel 1. (NASA)
NASA researchers confirmed the impact at 1:58 a.m. Eastern U.S. time, in a project designed to better understand what comets are made of.
A sequence of images sent back by cameras on the projectile revealed growing amounts of detail on the rocky-looking comet as a huge crater came to view. Later, images showed a bright blast showering off the speeding, potato-shaped object.
Now, the task of analyzing the images and other data from the mission begins..........Read More