Debris from the collision with NASA’s DART spacecraft gave the asteroid Dimorphos a long, comet-like tail.
Dimorphos dust trail estimated at 10,000 km after impact
Dimorphos’ dust trail is estimated to be 10,000 km long after the impact. (Photo: CTIO)
After NASA crashed the Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft into the asteroid Dimorphos, follow-up telescopes in space and on Earth saw the column of dust and debris that astronomers call ejecta. Subsequent observations show that The dust is blown away by the solar wind, creating a comet-like tail.Theo Cnet.
DART, the Planetary Protection Test, aims to test whether launching an automated spacecraft at an object from Earth could affect its orbital trajectory. In the future, this type of mission will help humanity avoid collisions with dangerous asteroids or comets.
Dimorphos is not a threat to Earth. But there are many other asteroids and meteorites that we have not yet discovered or tracked, so the data obtained from DART could provide valuable information. The collision occurred on September 26, and within two days, ground-based telescopes could easily observe the clear tail trail.
On September 28, astronomer Teddy Kareta of the Lowell Observatory in Arizona and Matthew Knight of the U.S. Naval Academy used the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope in Chile to observe Dimorphos. They calculate that the new tail is at least 10,000 km long. “It’s exciting that we were able to visualize the structure and scale of the imprint days after impact.”Kareta shared.
Observations from many other astronomers will contribute to a more detailed picture of the DART collision in the coming weeks, including how much material was ejected from the asteroid and which bodies consisted of more stars, large blocks rock or fine dust. All data will provide more detailed information on any plans to divert dangerous celestial bodies that could potentially hit Earth in the future.
Article source: VnExpress
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Debris from the recent collision with NASA’s DART spacecraft gave the asteroid Dimorphos a long, comet-like tail. The dust trail is estimated to be 10,000 km long…