Food In Space

Editor’s note: Crap. I wrote this post within milliseconds after the first of these awesome images came out, but somehow didn’t publish it. Now they are all over the place, and the message is ancient news in internet-time. But the science is timeless!

This tweet by Alicia Chang says it all: “Comet Hartley 2 looks like a peanut.”

Comet Hartley 2

This is the first close-up image from a fly-by of the comet by NASA’s Deep Impact mission. Expect more coming in. Despite the delicious appearance, however, it wouldn’t be prudent to take a bite; the comet is spewing out cyanide.

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  2. I’m imagining the different surface textures are due to mineral chunks mixed with more volatile ices. I want NASA to ‘net’ one of these things and drag it back to a low Earth orbit for closer inspection. Tricky, but doable. No?

  3. Chicken drumstick or bone for a dog more than a peanut if you ask me. 😉

    I’m pretty sure I read a scene in Arthur C.Clarke’s Space Odyssey : 2063 where one hero squirts comet water from Halley into an opponents mouth or drinks some himself. He’s warned about the cynaide and says he’s not worried because the levels of it are so small – but he does add that it turns out the comet water could’ve been patented as a purgative / laxative! 😉

    @ 6.paul b kramarchyk : Nice idea – I’d love to see how long a comet would last in Earth orbit and it would be an interesting sight for a while as well as a possible useful space stepping stone.

    Except for one worry – mentioned by Carl Sagan in Pale Blue Dot btw. if we can direct a comet *near* Earth into orbit then the same tech also enables us (or others) to directa comet *into* Earth. 😮