Asteroid Hit By NASA’s Dart Spacecraft Leaves 10,000-km Long Trail Of Debris

NASA’s Dart Spacecraft which hit the asteroid left 10,000-km long trail Of debris.

Asteroid Hit By NASA’s Dart Spacecraft Leaves 10,000-km Long Trail Of Debris

NASA’s Dart Spacecraft which was intentionally crashed into the asteroid Dimorphos as part of the first planetary defence test has left a trail of debris stretching around 10,000KM, a new image captured by a telescope in Chile shows.

NASA’s Dart was specially designed to experiment if the technology can save the planet or not. However, it did manage to impact the orbit of the asteroid.

Two days after the DART impact, astronomers used Chile's 4.1-meter Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope to capture a huge cloud of dust and debris blown off the asteroid's surface.

New images highlight a dust trail of ejecta that was pushed away by the Sun’s radiation pressure, just like a tail of a comet.

The distance from Earth to Didymos at the time of observation is at least 10,000 kilometres from the impact site, researchers said.

"It's amazing how clearly we could see the structure and magnitude of the aftermath in the days after the impact," said Teddy Caleta of Lowell Observatory.

Observations like these will allow researchers to know more about the surface of asteroids, how much material was dislodged by the collision, how much time it took, and the distribution of particle sizes in the expanding dust cloud.

For example, the collision ejected a small moon, a large chunk of material, or mostly fine dust, the researchers said.

By analysing this information, scientists can help protect the Earth and its inhabitants by better understanding the amount and type of ejecta produced during impact and how this alters the asteroid's trajectory.

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.