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July 2005
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Newsletter Archive

Deep News
Newsletter for the Deep Impact mission
Issue 24
July 2005

On July 4 at 5:52:24 Universal Time the Deep Impact team, received confirmation that the mission they had put into action in November of 1999 had reached success when the first image of a newly impacted comet Tempel 1 flashed onto the screens of the control room at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The dark icy nucleus with its own "fireworks" display showed that the impactor spacecraft, released from its flyby spacecraft 24 hours before had not only guided itself to the sunlit side of the comet nucleus, but had collided hard enough to brighten the comet coma so that the difference could be seen through telescopes on Earth. Did you see it? If not, you will want to visit our web site at:

Picture This - Make a Deep Impact
This image of the dark black nucleus of Comet Tempel 1 shows the ejecta plume caused by the impactor crashing into the icy surface. Those watching from Earth were actually able to see the plume grow as the images were returned through the antennas of the Deep Space Network.

And Picture This - Rainbow Data
The science team is processing the images from the spacecraft in many ways to give them different kinds of information. Take a look at the way in which giving this image "false color" can help define the shape of the ejecta plume.

Here's Looking at You - Comet!
One of the unique factors of the Deep Impact mission is the varied kinds of observation that took place during the collision between the comet and the spacecraft - both in space and on Earth. Take a look at the following kinds of images that the science team will use to compare and confirm their theories about Tempel 1 and comets in general.

From the impactor:

From the flyby:

From other spacecraft:

From large telescopes on Earth:

From small telescopes on Earth:

From collaborative observers on Earth:

Thrill Ride to Tempel 1
Take off on your own comet adventure with this Deep Impact interactive. Dare to watch Night of the Comet.

Up Close and Personal - Meet Anne Elson
Someday she and her husband hope to build an entirely green (energy wise) house. Although she is a pilot in her spare time, on this mission, Anne worked on contingency plans for the flight of the spacecraft. Meet Anne Elson.

Third Time's a Charm - Aiming at the Comet!
What may have looked like a near miss to our NASA TV audience was really a carefully rehearsed set of maneuvers performed just as they had been in our technical rehearsals. Take a look at where the impactor might have hit had the team not prepared those maneuvers carefully.

Discovery Channel and the Deep Impact "Comet Collision"
For those who may have missed the spectacular evening of encounter, this premiere program produced by New Pony Productions chronicles NASA's Deep Impact mission from the very beginning to the explosive finish, using state-of-the-art digital imaging to recreate the craft's journey and ending with footage of the actual impact transmitted from space. Make sure to check your local listings for this exciting program Sunday, July 31st - 10 PM (ET/PT).

Did you see our past Deep News Issues?
Visit to catch up on exciting past news from the Deep Impact mission.

Deep Impact is a Discovery mission. For more information on the Discovery Program, visit:

The Deep Impact mission is a partnership among the University of Maryland (UMD), the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp (BATC). Deep Impact is a NASA Discovery mission, eighth in a series of low-cost, highly focused space science investigations. See or our mirror site at

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Last Updated: 28 Jun 2010