A test of NASA’s planetary defense technology proved so successful that its results could even be seen from Earth — though it required the Large Space Telescope (VLT).
Stargazer Tim Lister tweeted footage from the Las Cumbres Observatory of the exact moment NASA’s Dual Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) spacecraft collided with the asteroid, creating a huge wave of dust particles.
Animation (sped up 500x) from one of @LCO_Global's 1 meter telescope at @SAAO South Africa showing effects of #DARTMission impact into Dimorphos (Still no threat to the Earth… Long straight streak is camera artifact) pic.twitter.com/StYWtLArgG
— Tim Lister (@astrosnapper) September 27, 2022
Lister is not the only professional astronomer who captured and published footage of the collision. The Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS), a joint project between NASA and the University of Hawaii, also captured DART’s collision with Dimorphos with its telescope. These shots are also quite impressive.
ATLAS observations of the DART spacecraft impact at Didymos! pic.twitter.com/26IKwB9VSo
— ATLAS Project (@fallingstarIfA) September 27, 2022
Although Dimorphos—a fragment of the Deimos asteroid pair—didn’t pose any threat to Earth, the test of DART’s capabilities was important because it ensured that NASA’s asteroid defense craft would actually be able to deal with celestial bodies that could potentially threaten Earth in the future. may be created.
Judging by how amazing the footage of the collision was to watch and how NASA scientists describe it (“beautiful to watch”), we can conclude that the mission was a success. We are still waiting for accurate data on how the spacecraft changed the trajectory of the asteroid.
“Humanity wins 1:0 to an asteroid,” said one of the representatives of NASA during the collision live.
Indeed, the viewer of such footage will find it difficult to disagree with him.