Recently my mind has been blown twice. First by listening to the first four songs on Funkadelic’s acid-drenched 1970 album Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow. Then by studying the above picture.
It’s comet Tempel 1. Up close in interplanetary space. And it’s been visited twice by different space probes: first Deep Impact imaged the comet on its way towards the sun in 2005 and shot an impactor point blank at it. Then the Stardust probe, originally designed and launched to meet with another comet, was sent to meet Tempel 1 on its way out again from the sun. Today Stardust imaged the comet and got a clean shot of the surface where the impactor hit 5½ Earth years ago. Science rules, Dear Reader, science rules.
For more Tempel 1 coverage, see Emily Lakdawalla’s blog at the Planetary Society.