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Deep Impact Mission Science Technology Mission Results Gallery Education Discovery Zone Your Community Press Science - Results (non-Flash version)

Comet Formation

image of nucleus with proposed Talps layers outlined

Mike Belton
Deputy PI

Belton Space Exploration Initiatives
Tucson, AZ

Integrating all the results from the mission, Mike developed a new theory of cometary formation whereby low velocity impacts early in the history of the Solar System produced cometessimals in the Kuiper Belt that grew into comets by building up layer upon layer. At low velocities, the material "splats" upon impact. He calls the layers Talps, which is splat backwards.

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