NASA’s Deep Impact probe from their EPOXI mission snapped amazing images of Comet Hartley 2 from “about 435-miles away”. That’s right, “Deep Impact returned its most close-up images to astronomers, capturing the comet when it was 496,000 miles from Earth.” Click here for the first picture in the gallery.

To accommodate the unpredictable flight pattern of Hartley 2, engineers switched the Deep Impact to autopilot, or AutoNav, allowing the probe to steer itself towards the brightest object (other than the sun) in its sight.

[via PopSciNASA]

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