Innumerable as the Starrs of Night,
Or Starrs of Morning,
Dew-drops, which the Sun
Impearls
on every leaf and every flouer
Milton
Impearls
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Beauty is truth, truth beauty,
— that is all
Ye know on earth, and all
ye need to know.
Keats

E = M
Einstein

Energy is eternal delight.
William Blake

Impearls: Movie of the Tempel 1 Impact

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Earthdate 2005-07-05

Movie of the Tempel 1 Impact

View from Deep Impact's impactor probe as it approached Comet Tempel 1 (click for movie)

View from Deep Impact's impactor probe as it approached Comet Tempel 1
(click on image for movie)

I vividly remember as a kid in school, on Earthdate 1965-03-24, having a television wheeled into class and watching in realtime as the last of NASA's Ranger spacecraft, Ranger 9, crashed on the Moon, photographing all the while — transmitting its images live to millions of people on the Earth.  The impression left during the last few seconds as the craft zoomed in on its fate at the bottom of the crater Alphonsus at 2.67 km/sec. (1.66 miles/sec.) was electric.  Nothing that's happened in space exploration since that time, even the Moon landings, has quite equaled that moment — until now.

Now NASA has released a movie taken yesterday by the Deep Impact spacecraft's impactor probe of its last few moments as it approached and crashed, at 2005-07-04 05:52 UT, into comet Tempel 1 at a speed of about 10 km/sec. (6.3 miles/sec. or 23,000 miles/hour).  Click on the photo above, or here, to see the film.  (Here's the page containing that footage.)


UPDATE:  2009-10-08 22:50 UT:  Click on the image below, or here, to see the movie of Ranger 9 as it impacted the Moon within the crater Alphonsus back in 1965.  One may view the encompassing page at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory here, where a higher resolution version of the movie is available.  (Also, corrected the date of Ranger 9's impact on the Moon in the above text.)

View from Ranger 9 as it approached Alphonsus crater on the Moon (click for movie)

View from Ranger 9 as it approached Alphonsus crater on the Moon
(click on image for movie)


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