DART crashes into Dimorphos

Good morning to all fans and non-fans! Today's special episode of Science & Gnorri to announce the successful mission of the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test space probe, or DART for friends, which crashed on 26 September on the asteroid Dimorphos.


Didymos e Dimorphos fotografati da DART 2.5 minuti prima dell'impatto il 26 settembre 2022

The purpose of the mission was to test whether it is possible to change the orbit of an asteroid colliding with the earth through the impact (Armageddon who?). More specifically, an attempt was made to modify the orbital velocity by reducing its orbital period by about 10 minutes. But don't worry: the binary asteroid is in a safe position and its closest point to earth will be 5 million km, scheduled for 2123. DART's impact is expected to change this distance by just 100 km.

A binary asteroid was chosen for this incredible mission, consisting of a main body with a diameter of 780 m (Didymos) around which, at about 400 m orbits Dimorphos, whose diameter is about 160 m (like a football field).


At this link you can see the first incredible images a few minutes before the collision, captured by the Italian Space Agency's satellite, LICIACube.

Here instead are the very last images from DART, just before the impact.

This is the first planetary defence experiment against possible asteroid threats. The crash occurred about 13 million kilometres away from us, at an impact velocity of 26,000 kilometres per hour.

In the video above you can watch the last five and a half minutes of footage preceding the deliberate collision of the DART probe with the asteroid Dimorphos. Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL


In the video above you can watch the last five and a half minutes of footage preceding the deliberate collision of the DART probe with the asteroid Dimorphos. Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL. Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

If you want to have fun, try typing 'dart against asteroid' into Google and see how the browser announces this incredible news!

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