From the pages of CNN Science & Space:
If all goes as planned, the Deep Impact spacecraft will release a wine barrel-sized probe on a suicide mission hurtling toward the comet Tempel 1 — about 80 million miles (129 million kilometers) away from Earth at the time of impact.
Scientists hope the July 4 collision will gouge a crater in the comet’s surface large enough to reveal the pristine core and perhaps yield cosmic clues to the origin of the solar system.
The neatest part of this to me is the paragraph that says the collision should be viewable from the Earth with binoculars. I suppose it’s too much to hope for that a) said collision will be timed so that it’s viewable from where I’m at, b) the recent cloud cover will be gone, and c) a viewing guide exists on the Net so that I know when and where to be looking.
Okay, a quick Google later and I’ve got c) covered. Looks like it won’t necessarily be nearly as exciting as the CNN article implies. Drat.