When comet Tempel 1 collides with a NASA space probe in the early morning hours of July 4, 2005, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory expect some holiday sizzle – a brilliant flash and a dramatic spray of debris.
This cosmic collision will create a crater exposing Tempel 1’s interior. Like all comets, Tempel 1 consists of the frozen remains of material that formed the solar system. But what, precisely, is this stuff? How is it put together? Peter Schultz, crater expert, will help find out.
Schultz is a professor of geological sciences at Brown University and a leading expert in impact cratering, the science of what happens when a massive, fast-moving cosmic train slams into something. His work helps explain when and how comets, asteroids and other space travelers shaped the face of planets such as Earth and Mars, as well as the Moon and other satellites.
Wendy Lawton | EurekAlert!
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