A stadium-sized crater was what some were predicting in a collision that is the climax of a mission millions of kilometres from earth.
The comet being hit by the Deep Impact projectile was named after Ernst Tempel, the man who discovered it in 1867. It has been described as a “jet black, pickle-shaped, icy dirt ball the size of Washington DC.”
NASA has its eye on Tempel 1’s below-surface debris – materiel formed billions of years ago during the solar system’s creation. Experts hope studying it will bring about a breakthrough in knowledge, clearing up mysteries about the origins of life. While Americans celebrate Independence Day on earth, NASA planned the biggest and best fireworks in space. It also took steps to ensure the result would be recorded.
The Deep Impact craft is equipped with special scientific instruments, enabling it to observe the collision and capture crucial images and data – all from a safe distance!