Telescopes here on Earth have captured the astonishing death of the asteroid probe DART in deep space.
DART shocked the Dimorphos, a moon of the larger asteroid Didymos, as planned on Monday evening (September 26), gave up its robotic life in the name of planetary defense. The dramatic impact occurred 7 million miles (11 million kilometers) from Earth, but some sharp-eyed bands on our planet have managed to detect it.
For example, observations made by the Hawaii-based Asteroid Last Warning System (ATLAS) show Didymus The brightness of the system significantly at the moment of impact. A little later, a huge shell of the ejected material exploded away from the battered Demorphos.
Related: NASA’s DART Asteroid Impact Mission Explained With Pictures
Atlas notes of the impact of the DART spacecraft in Didymus! pic.twitter.com/26IKwB9VSoSeptember 27 2022
One of the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) telescopes of 3.3 feet (1 m) at the South African Astronomical Observatory told a similar story, from a different angle; Arrow It hits Dimorphos while moving left-to-right in the frame, not right-to-left as in ATLAS shots.
Atlas Project sShe expressed her comments (Opens in a new tab) On Twitter late Monday night, as did A LCO . team member (Opens in a new tab). Each of the time-lapse videos is worth a few moments of your time.
Demorphos, which is 560 feet (170 meters) wide, poses no threat to Earth, and neither does Didymus, which is about 2,560 feet (780 meters) wide. NASA Just Used Space Rock System For Target Training, To Test Its “Kinetic Impact” Strategy asteroid deviation.
Scientists will now use a variety of telescopes to measure the impact of the impact on Demorphos’ orbit around Didymus. This data will teach them about the effectiveness of the kinetic impact technology, aiding in future efforts to push dangerous space rocks away from Earth. Experts stress that we will need to deal with a large incoming asteroid at some point. It’s a matter of time, not if.
A DART (“Double Asteroid Redirection Test”) autopsy is now underway. Many ground-based telescopes around the world will soon begin observing the Didymos system. And in the next couple of days, we should get some after-effect shots from Dimorphos LICIACubeSmall Italian Cubes published on September 11th.
The work isn’t going to stop there. The European Space Agency plans to launch a probe called Hira to the Didymos system in 2024. After arriving in 2026, Hera will stay for a while, collecting a variety of data about both asteroids.
Mike Wall is the author of “Abroad (Opens in a new tab)Book (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab) or on Facebook (Opens in a new tab).
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