By any standard, the great thumping whack delivered by the Deep Impact probe on Comet Tempel 1 has to be considered pretty cool. I haven’t seen any video yet, but for full coverage of the mission, along with the “Top 10” still photos of the event, I suggest a side trip to http://www.space.com/deepimpact/. I can’t add anything useful to what they’ve said there, other than to wave people into the auditorium.
The impact does put me in mind, though, of John Bandicut’s (and Charlie’s!) game of cosmic billiards in the first book of my Chaos Chronicles: Neptune Crossing. In that case, they were out to demolish an errant comet that threatened Earth—and using the same nifty alien technology that got them to the comet, convert the energy from the impact into a spatial translation that zipped our friends off to Shipworld, out at the edge of the galaxy. We’re not to that point in our technology yet, alas. But maybe someone like the quarx Charlie will come along and help us out one of these days.
Go see that space.com coverage now.