On September 27, the US National Aeronautics and Space Research Agency (NASA) successfully carried out the most important DART mission – at 03:15 Tbilisi time, the spacecraft collided with the natural satellite of the target asteroid, Dimorphous.
The purpose of the mission was to make sure that with the technology created on Earth, we can change the trajectory of an astronomical body dangerous to our planet, although Dimorphos itself is not dangerous.
This collision was so powerful that footage of the event was captured from Earth. Georgia was no exception, in particular, the Abastumni astrophysical observatory, from where researchers recorded the moment of the collision and its subsequent processes.
“At the Abastumni astrophysical observatory, the group studying dangerous asteroids approaching the Earth (the head of the group and the employee R. Inasaridze) recorded the processes before and after the collision with the help of the observatory’s 70-cm meniscus telescope. The unique observational material was obtained with the pre-selected exposure by the group. The ‘wobble’ of the asteroid at the moment of impact and the image of the dust clouds formed by the impact are clearly visible.”
It should be noted that taking into account the physical laws, the trajectory of Dimorphos had to change. We will get accurate data about this through the Hera mission of the European Space Agency, within the framework of which the probe will be launched in October 2024.