The impact of the dart has created a huge trail in the asteroid Dimorphos

Last week, NASA's Dart spacecraft intentionally crashed into Dimorphos, a small moon orbiting the larger asteroid Didymus. Now, a ground-based telescope in Chile has captured the massive trail created in the days following the impact.

BingMag.com The impact of the dart has created a huge trail in the asteroid Dimorphos

Last week, NASA's Dart spacecraft intentionally crashed into Dimorphos, a small moon orbiting the larger asteroid Didymus. Now, a ground-based telescope in Chile has captured the massive trail created in the days following the impact.

This deliberate impact was actually a planetary defense test. The path of near-Earth objects is continuously monitored to monitor their position and orbit, and NASA is looking to see if a kinetic impact could change the path of a space rock if it is already on Earth's path.

Nevertheless, the images of this intense and fast collision and its consequences have been recorded by many terrestrial and space observatories and are being published. The latest images come from the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope (SOAR) in Chile, operated by the National Science Foundation. The SOAR telescope is located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, an arid environment with clear skies and no light pollution, ideal for ground-based telescopes.

In this image, the expanding dust trail from the collision is clearly visible. It is observed and drawn to the right corner of the picture. According to NOIRLab, the trail of asteroid debris extended about 10,000 kilometers from the impact point. Teddy Kareta, an astronomer at the Lowell Observatory, said about this image: To capture it so clearly in the days after the event is amazing.

  • See the photo of the moment the Dart spacecraft hit the asteroid Dimorphos

NASA scientists have yet to announce whether the Dart mission was a complete success, but this encounter is a success in itself. Soon, more findings will be obtained about this event; Exactly how much material was ejected from Didymus, how much material was pulverized, and at what speed it may have been ejected.

These data can reveal the effects of kinetic impacts on rocky asteroids, which seem It turns out that Dimorphos is one of them, let them clarify. Rocky asteroids have clumps of surface material that are loosely bound together, creating such dramatic trails and views after impact. The future Vera C. Rubin Observatory will begin. Among its tasks are the assessment of potentially dangerous near-Earth objects; Although, given a recent experiment, maybe the asteroids should be worrying about us!

Cover photo: The massive dust trail thrown up by the Dart spacecraft's impact with asteroid Dimorphos
Credit: CTIO/NOIRLab/SOAR /NSF/AURA/T. Kareta (Lowell Observatory), M. Knight (US Naval Academy), Processing: T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage/NSF's NOIRLab), M. Zamani & D. de Martin (NSF's NOIRLab)

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