Deep Impact Throws Up New Questions

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FLASH LIGHT: A spectacular image of comet Tempel 1 taken 67 seconds after it obliterated Deep Impact's impactor spacecraft.

It was the biggest Fourth of July blast ever: a 37,000-kph collision in deep space of a washing-machine-sized American spacecraft called the Deep Impact "impactor" with a comet as big as Washington. When the cosmic smash-up occurred on Monday, some 130 million kilometers from Earth, space scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and around the world leapt to their feet in rapturous applause. A spectacular crash was exactly what was supposed to happen when Deep Impact encountered Comet 9P/Tempel 1 in a search for clues to the origin of the universe.

Mankind had reached out...