NASA's Deep Impact Keeps Date with a Comet

Comet Tempel 1 strikes the Deep Impact probe, at just before 2 a.m.

Comet Tempel 1 strikes the Deep Impact probe, at just before 2 a.m., ET Monday. A trailing craft photographed the collision. NASA hide caption

itoggle caption NASA

NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft successfully crashed into Comet Tempel 1 early Monday. Scientists arranged the collision in an effort to learn more about the physical makeup of comets.

A wealth of data was produced by the collision, which researchers say they will be interpreting for weeks and months. The last image of the comet from the Deep Impact probe revealed a pocked, rocky surface of the comet's elongated core, shaped somewhat like a potato.

Despite the hopes of stargazers in the United States, the outer-space fireworks were hard to see from Earth without a big telescope.

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