NASA readies space probe to collide with comet
PASADENA, Calif. Even with an 820-pound projectile, it's going to be a challenge for NASA to get a bull's-eye hit.The Deep Impact spacecraft hopes to smash a hole in the speeding Tempel One comet, which is half the size of Manhattan.
The copper "impactor" -- about the size of a barrel -- is to be released around two a-m Eastern. A collision is expected 24 hours later. Researchers hope it will result in a plume that will offer them clues about the makeup of comets, and even the origin of the universe.
They'll be watching with powerful telescopes. Amateur astronomers in the western U-S and Latin America should also be able to view the impact through their own telescopes.
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