This time-lapse sequence of 20 images, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, reveals the dramatic effects from a collision early July 4 between comet 9P/Tempel 1 and an 820-pound probe released by the Deep Impact spacecraft. The Deep Impact probe smacked the comet at 1:52 a.m. EDT. 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 four images show a developing fan of dust, which is traveling at about 450 miles an hour (720 kilometers an hour). The fan of debris is about 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) across.
Publication: July 4, 2005