Deep Impact at the Royal Observatory

An audience of school children, their parents, teachers and observatory staff gathered in the Visitor Centre this morning to watch the Deep Impact impact live through NASA TV and to see images from the Faulkes Telescope in Hawaii.

The success of the mission was first apparent through the cheers of the NASA staff in the control centre, but they soon broadcast some early images such as this one:

Still from NASA TV webcast of deep impact Still from the NASA TV webcast. The brightening at the bottom of the comet is due to the impact of the probe.

These images from the Faulkes Telescope clearly show the brightening of the comet. You can also see the darkening of the sky background. The impact occured during twilight in Hawaii.

Faulkes Telescope images of Comet Tempel 1 before and after the impact
The image on the left was taken one minute before the scheduled time of the impact. The image on the right was taken about 50 minutes later. Thanks to Horst for the image processing.

More images including an animation are available on the Faulkes Telescope website.