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Hubble's view of the collision

These images, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope from 80 million miles away, show comet 9P/Tempel 1 before and after the Deep Impact probe slammed into it. Astronomers used these pictures to determine how much material was released from the impact.

Before impact comet image before impact

3 min. before impact

After impact comet image after impact 1

12 minutes after impact


At left, the innermost coma of dust appears 10 times brighter than the cloud in the pre-impact photo.

comet image after impact 2

1 hr., 4 min. after impact


An expanding fan of dust speeds from the comet. The fan of debris is moving at 450 miles (720 km) per hour, or about the speed of a jet airplane.

comet image after impact 3

1 hr., 28 min. after impact

comet image after impact 4

4 hr., 41 min. after impact

comet image after impact 5

19 hr., 7 min. after impact


At left, the dust cloud is 2,000 miles (3,200 km) across. It is beginning to spread out into space, becoming less visible.

Photo series: NASA, ESA, P. Feldman (JHU), H. Weaver (JHU APL)