Mondo News

All of the latest tech and science news from all over the world.

Asteroid has 6,000-mile debris tail after deliberate impact by NASA spacecraft

The DART mission aimed to see if an asteroid’s orbit could be altered and was intended as a dress rehearsal should such an object ever threaten Earth.

More than 6,000 miles of debris is trailing behind an asteroid that was deliberately hit by a NASA spacecraft.

It shows a tail made up of dust and other material from the impact by the spacecraft – which was about the size of a vending machine and weighed half a tonne before the 15,000mph collision.

The tail is accelerating away from the asteroid, mainly due to pressure from solar radiation, said Matthew Knight from the US Naval Research Laboratory.

Mr Knight and the Lowell Observatory’s Teddy Kareta made the observation using the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope.

Experts believe the tail will get even longer and more dispersed, and at some point become undetectable from any other space dust.

The DART mission aimed to see if an asteroid’s orbit could be altered and was intended as a dress rehearsal should such an object ever threaten Earth.

Planetary rover destined for missions on the Moon or Mars undergoes test in Milton Keynes

Moment NASA spacecraft crashed into asteroid captured by telescopes

Why NASA crashed a spacecraft into a harmless asteroid at 14,000mph

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

However, the 160-metre asteroid targeted, Dimorphos, was seven million miles from Earth and never a threat itself.

The effect on the asteroid is expected to be tiny – checking its speed by just 0.4mm per second.

But over time it should have a measurable effect on its orbit.

An array of land and space-based telescopes including NASA and ESA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, will all study the asteroid to measure the outcome of the test.

Category: Technology

Source: Sky

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: