Hubble Telescope Records Before and After of DART Mission in 2023
In September 2022, the NASA spacecraft DART crashed with a small asteroid known as “Dimorphos,” a natural satellite or moon which strikes at a distance of 6.8 million miles from Earth.
NASA’s self-crashed mission named “Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)” was to redirect the spacecraft trajectory as a test-run for any future asteroids that might endanger Earth.
The Hubble Space Telescope captures the September crash event between Dimorphos rock and spacecraft before and after the crash. A timelapse movie of the DART impact has been combined with crash event pictures.
In addition to Hubble’s work, the Ground telescopes also captured the violent striking in the shaky video. Still, according to the European Space Agency, the Hubble telescope recorded 1.3 hours before the DART collision, and the first post-event picture was captured after 20 minutes.
After 17 hours of impact, the second picture showed that the evolved crash debris changed its shape to a pinwheel pattern due to interaction between Dimorphos and its large-sized asteroid “Didymos.” Moreover, the debris is drawn towards a large asteroid by its greater gravitational force.
As time passes, the debris in the pinwheel pattern diffuses and disappears, whereas the debris tails break in half at a greater distance (about the 16-second point in the video).
NASA scientists said this September test enables humans to change spacecraft trajectories as the Dimorphos asteroid orbit has been altered by around 32 minutes shortly.