Skip to main content

Rare Close Encounter With Comet Hartley 2 Surprises and Thrills Scientists

This is another of the first images sent back to Earth from the NASA's EPOXI mission after it flew by comet Hartley 2 around 7 a.m. PDT (10 a.m. EDT) on Nov. 4, 2010.
This is another of the first images sent back to Earth from the NASA's EPOXI mission after it flew by comet Hartley 2 around 7 a.m. PDT (10 a.m. EDT) on Nov. 4, 2010. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD)

A spacecraft's close

NASA's Deep Impact

Scientists are

Researchers hope the

But researchers

"The engineers

Early scientific

Researchers have

Yet, an intriguing

For one thing, the

Hartley 2 is smaller

The comet was

Comets, cyanide

Deep Impact

While jets had been

"This the first

The close encounter

"There are jets

In September, Deep

"That's a

Scientists aren't

"I think some

Going off without

Cheers erupted in

"We couldn't

Deep Impact was on

"That was

Cracking the

Scientists will

If they can learn

While scientists

"It won't be

Deep Impact's

Deep Impact, for its

The $252 million

Deep Impact was

After Deep Impact

Now, Deep Impact is

"NASA's looking

Even if Deep

"In these hard

NASA's broad EPOXI

Mike Wall
SPACE.COM SENIOR SPACE WRITER — Michael has been writing for Space.com since 2010. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter. 

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.