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Close encounter with a comet




The Hartley 2 comet pictured in a flyby by NASA's EPOXI spacecraft.
The Hartley 2 comet pictured in a flyby by NASA's EPOXI spacecraft.
Courtesey of NASA/JPL

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JPL’s EPOXI spacecraft came within about 430 miles today of the Hartley 2 comet, a ball of ice, dust and rocks flying at 27,000 miles per hour. Medium resolution photographs show the best pictures yet of the space object as it streaked through the solar system, leaving a trail of dust. What does NASA hope to learn from this mission? And what do comets tell us about the formation of the solar system and the future of planet Earth?

Guest:

Tim Larson, JPL’s EPOXI Project Manager