Sources for follow-up on the DART asteroid impact

“…As for the details of that impact, we’ll have to wait. The best images we’ll get are from an Italian Cubesat called LICIACube that has been trailing DART since the two separated a few weeks ago. LICIACube will be about 50 km from the point of impact and will get even closer over the three minutes after impact before passing behind Dimorphos. But it will take some time to transmit images to Earth—possibly a day or more for processing and release.
So, the first images are likely to come from ground observatories, which are looking for brightening caused by the debris plume spreading from the point of impact. When asked how much ground-based hardware was dedicated to watching for the plume, Cristina Thomas of Northern Arizona University said, “I don’t know, but there’s a lot of them—it’s very exciting to have lost count.” Nancy Chabot of APL said the count was up to three dozen, and they’ll be joined by the Hubble and Webb Space Telescopes. Some of those images are likely to show up online by tomorrow.

Still exciting. Still fascinating.

5 thoughts on “Sources for follow-up on the DART asteroid impact

  1. Far out says:

    This video shows the final five-and-a-half minutes of images leading up to the DART spacecraft’s intentional collision with asteroid Dimorphos. As it approached the asteroid, the DART spacecraft streamed these images from its DRACO camera back to Earth in real time. This replay movie is 10 times faster than reality, except for the last six images, which are shown at the same rate that the spacecraft returned them. Both Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos are visible at the start of the video. At the end, Dimorphos fills the entire field of view. The final image in the movie shows a patch of Dimorphos that is 51 feet (16 meters) across. DART’s impact occurred during the transmission of the final image to Earth, resulting in a partial picture at the end of this movie. Didymos is roughly 2,500 feet (780 meters) in diameter; Dimorphos is about 525 feet (160 meters) in length. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

    • Twinkle says:

      Astronomers using the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) Telescope in Chile have captured an image revealing that DART’s collision with Dimorphos left a trail of dust and other debris measuring over 6,000 miles long. The spacecraft wasn’t solely responsible — rather, the Sun’s radiation pressure pushed the material away like it would with a comet’s tail.
      The trail is only likely to get larger, according to the researchers. It should eventually stretch to the point where the dust stream is virtually unrecognizable from the usual particles floating in the Solar System. NASA didn’t create headaches for future probes and explorers.

      A 5-foot, 10-inch human figure placed on an image of the asteroid Dimorphos that was taken by the DART spacecraft shortly before impact. A Reddit user edited the human figure onto the image for scale.

  2. Giuseppe Piazzi says:

    “After NASA’s test to deflect asteroid threats, it’s time to better detect what is coming”
    “In 2021, NASA authorized funding for a space telescope called the Near-Earth Object or NEO Surveyor that would be dedicated to detecting and characterizing Earth-approaching asteroids that may be a threat. Currently, NEO Surveyor is scheduled to launch in 2026 for a mission lasting at least five years.
    NEO Surveyor will be 20 inches in diameter and will search the heavens for Earth-approaching objects in the infrared range. The project’s goal is to locate at least two-thirds of the near-Earth objects that are 460 feet in diameter or wider.”

  3. Epilogue says:

    “NASA has succeeded in its mission to change the orbit of asteroid Dimorphos, the space agency’s administrator Bill Nelson confirmed Tuesday. NASA crashed the Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft, aka DART, into Dimorphos a few weeks ago to test one possible method of protecting Earth from a dangerous body on a collision course with our planet.
    “This is a watershed moment for planetary defense and a watershed moment for humanity,” Nelson said during a press conference.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.