gas and dust.
First View of Tempel 1's Nucleus.
New images taken by NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft show the actual nucleus of its target, Comet Tempel 1. The nucleus is the heart of the comet, and largely composed of ice and rock. Surrounding that is a Halo of gas and dust that largely obscures the view. Tempel 1 isn't a sphere, but an oblong potato-shaped object, 14 km (9 miles) long by 4.8 km (3 miles) wide. By continuing to watch the nucleus as it approaches, Deep Impact will provide scientists with a better idea of the comet's rotation and orientation, so the For the first time, scientists have processed images from NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft and clearly seen the solid body, or nucleus, of the Comet through the vast cloud of dust and gas that surrounds it. The new images provide important information about the mission's target: the "heart" of Comet Tempel 1.
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