The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured the dramatic effects of a collision early 4 July between an 370 kilogram projectile released by the Deep Impact spacecraft and comet 9P/Tempel 1.
The Deep Impact probe smacked the comet at 7:52 a.m. CEST. The collision kicked up dust from the comet's surface. The image sequence begins by showing the comet just before the impact and then follows the expanding debris for 19 hours after the collision. The final images show a developing fan of dust, which is travelling at about 720 kilometres an hour. The fan of debris is about 3,200 kilometers across. Tempel 1?s nucleus is too small even for the Hubble telescope to resolve.
The visible-light images were taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys? High-resolution Camera.