Deep Impact

A spacecraft breaks open a comet's secrets

9:40am, September 2, 2005

Moving serenely through space some 130 million kilometers from Earth, Comet Tempel 1 appears no different than it did before July 4, the day a NASA spacecraft called Deep Impact fired a 372-kilogram copper projectile into the comet's icy surface. But if the impact left barely a dent in this 9-kilometer-long, fist-shaped body, the data collected from the collision have made an indelible mark on studies of comets and the formation of the solar system.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News