Technology

The Dart impact has turned Dimorphos into a ‘comet’: asteroid now 10,000 km. has more tail

Last week, NASA launched the Dart mission to test a planetary defense strategy against space objects. The spacecraft impacted against the asteroid Dimorphos at a speed of 6.1 kilometers per second, causing a cloud of debris and dust Its length is more than 10,000 km.

Astronomers Teddy Caretta and Matthew Knight SOAR. Thanks to he discovered this scene (Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope), a 4.1-meter telescope located on top of Cerro Tololo (Chile).

The United States National Organization for Functional Sciences (NOIRLab) indicates that the image shows a piece of debris and dust Like a comment However, the tailings of the substances ejected after the DART ejection are due to solar radiation pressure.



NOIRLab notes that “the tail can be seen extending from the center to the right edge of the field of view, which according to the Goodman High Throughput Spectrograph at SOAR is about 3.1 arcminutes. At the distance of Didymos from Earth at the moment of observation, that will be equal to at least 10,000 kms (6,000 miles) from the point of impact.”

Kareta and Knight will use SOAR Monitor the wreck in the coming monthsIn this way, they will understand the impact of the actual impact, what is the composition of Dimorphos’ tail and how the motion of the asteroid may affect the planetary defense system.


An undated image provided by NASA shows an image of the Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) spacecraft prior to impact on the binary Didymos asteroid system.

Analyzing this information will help scientists protect Earth, understand the amount and nature of an ejection that results from an impact, and how an asteroid’s orbit can be changed.

Knight says that “now cHe begins the next phase of work for the DART team Because they analyze their own data and observations from our team and other observers around the world who shared their study of this exciting phenomenon.”

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