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Deep Impact Generates its own Spectacular Photo FlashIn a turn of events more like science fiction than reality, NASA scientists have blasted a crater the size of a football field onto the surface of a comet careening through space.

But, wait a second, haven’t we already seen this movie?

Although the NASA mission has been named Deep Impact, scientists involved in this production are hoping for more than big box office returns. This comet, called Tempel 1, is not on a collision course with earth. Instead, NASA scientists are hoping to find out what the comet is made of by researching its core where, according to NASA, the material from the solar system's formation remains relatively unchanged.

Comets are considered to be instrumental to the formation of our solar system. Scientists believe that comets brought water and organic material as they crashed to the surface of planets.

After stalking the comet through space for 172 days and 268 million miles, NASA scientists now eagerly await the data they hope will answer questions about the nature of comet formation and the origins of our solar system.

Photo courtesy NASA.

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