Marco Nero created this image of NASA’s ‘Deep Impact’ probe’s historic appointment with Comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005
After 174 days of space travel, the Deep Impact probe released an “impactor” carrying a copper payload (since scientists didn’t expect the comet to contain copper… and the metal wouldn’t interfere with the scientific instruments aboard the probe).
Delivering 100kg of copper at a closing velocity of more than 10km/s, the impactor’s kinetic energy was equivalent to 4.8 metric tons of TNT.
The resulting collision exposed the interior of the comet’s nucleus and answered questions concerning comet composition.
Marco Nero – who is in Sydney, Australia – is working on a book on the subject of meteorite hunting and collecting. This is one of the images he created to go along with an article on comets.
Submitted to EarthSky July 30, 2015