(NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI https://bit.ly/3rkHoxN)
Sorry, I just loved that DART mission, so I’ll keep writing about it.
The James Webb and Hubble Space Telescopes witnessed the impact of the DART probe against the Dimorph asteroid.
The observatories saw ejections of material from the surface of Dimorph and a sharp increase in its brightness, which did not decrease for an unusually long time.
On September 27, the 550-kilogram DART probe collided at a speed of 6.7 kilometers per second with the 160-meter asteroid Dimorph.
As I’ve discussed previously, this is the first practical test of the kinetic ramming method to protect the Earth from dangerous asteroids.
In order to observe the impact, the scientists organized an entire observational campaign.
The LICIACube cubesat, as well as ground-based telescopes and even amateur astronomers took part in the effort.
THE BIG ONES
The James Webb and Hubble space telescopes also participated in the observations.
Scientists expect that the collected data will allow us:
- estimate the mass of matter ejected from the surface of Dimorph
- estimate the particle size distribution in the dust cloud
- calculate the composition of the surface layer of the asteroid
The Hubble telescope observed with the WFC3 camera in the optical range, and the JSWT with the NIRCam near-infrared camera.
The famous space telescopes noticed the appearance of plumes of asteroid material, diverging from Dimorph after the impact.
The Hubble and the Webb also observed a threefold sharp increase in its brightness due to the impact.
Interestingly, the brightness did not decrease for eight hours after the impact, which remains to be explained to astronomers.
The Hubble will observe Dimorph 10 more times over the next 3 weeks, and the Webb will survey the asteroid with the MIRI and NIRSpec instruments in the coming months.
- James Webb: https://esawebb.org/news/weic2215/
- ESA: https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Webb/Webb_and_Hubble_capture_detailed_views_of_DART_impact
- Steemit: steemit.com/hive-109160/@sarahjay1/the-dart-probe-finally-impacted-with-the-dimorph-asteroid-video
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