This Fourth of July is being called “Day of the Comet”, because there will be fireworks in space during the very early morning hours, and you should be able to see them. After having traveled 268 million miles in space, NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft will get up-close and engage comet Tempel 1 on July 4th, 2005. People world-wide will be able to view both the impact and resulting data and pictures of the interior of an exploding comet. An object the size of a coffee table will hit another object the size of a small automobile, at a force of 23,000 miles per hour. Deep Impact: Your First Look Inside a Comet!
“Like people gazing skyward to watch Independence Day fireworks, an international array of telescopes will train expert eyes on a dramatic encounter between NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft and a passing comet. The explosive event will happen 133.6 million kilometers (83 million miles) from Earth in the early hours of July 4 Eastern Daylight Time (late July 3 Pacific Daylight Time). Telescopes on the ground and others orbiting in space will document the mission’s crucial moments using different wavelengths of light.” (NASA)