The Big Comet Crash Of Doom.

NASA's Deep Impact projectile will make it's final journey on Sunday night when it slams into the comet Tempel 1 and (hopefully) causes a serious amount of destruction. The impact should happen right at 22:52 (Pacific Daylight Time) - or just before 2:00 in the morning here in the overpopulated east. No one really knows what it going to happen, but with a collision speed of just over 40,000 km/h, it should be fairly spectacular regardless of the actual results. There are a number of ways that you can tune in and participate:

The official web site at JPL will have all the news, plus feeds from the cameras that are on the mothership and on the projectile itself.

The observatory at Kitt Peak* in Arizona has a huge image bank and an animation of the latest images for that "real-time" feel.

The United States' best observatory at Mauna Kea will have virtually instantaneous imagery during the impact.

Finally, there is a home telescope and observer program where you can join in on the fun from your own backyard.

*Unrelated aside: If you happen to be in Arizona, you can drop by the Kitt Peak facility on virtually any evening and use the big telescopes yourself. Really.

Posted: Fri - July 1, 2005 at 09:33 AM