NASA probe sends snaps of space peanut

6 Nov 2010

A NASA probe named Deep Impact has beamed close-up images back to earth detailing a hurtling ice ball that bears resemblance to a peanut.

Deep Impact, which launched January 2005, was originally designed to study the composition of the interior of comet Tempel 1. By releasing an impactor into the comet, it has beamed back close-up shots of Comet Hartley 2 – whose surface diameter is estimated to be 1.2 to 1.6 kilometres.

The probe managed to take thousands of photos during the flyby and among them are shots of the comet that make it resemble an astral peanut more than a giant ball of ice.

NASA announced the images following a recent announcement that one of its telescopes – Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope – has discovered an enormous series of gamma ray bubbles that exist in the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy.