NASA is preparing to intentionally collide a space asteroid the size of a large Egyptian pyramid into a spacecraft the size of a vending machine on Monday.
Amazingly, you may view this historic event live today on September 26th. The mission is known as DART, or Double Asteroid Redirection Test, and it is the first time that humanity has ever tried to move an asteroid on purpose. The mission is an experiment to determine how society could divert a dangerous asteroid’s course should one be on a collision track with our planet. The rocky target, Dimorphos, is not a threat to Earth.
According to Markus Wilde, a Florida Institute of Technology associate professor of aerospace, physics, and space sciences, “We are right now defenseless against any asteroid aiming for Earth.”
About 6.8 million miles from Earth, the 1,300-pound DART spacecraft will collide with Dimorphos, a 525-foot-wide asteroid that really orbits a much larger sibling, the half-mile-wide Didymos. However, the spacecraft carries a camera called “DRACO” that will send one image in real time to Earth every second. Of course, this will be before the impact.
NASA will broadcast the impact live on its NASA website and NASA TV. Visit NASA TV’s YouTube account to view. On September 26, 2022 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, live coverage will begin. At 7:14 p.m. Eastern Time, the spacecraft will strike Dimorphos.
The Ten-Kilometer-Wide Asteroid That Struck Chicxulub in the Yucatán
A ten-kilometer-wide asteroid that struck Chicxulub in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico sixty-six million years ago is the best-known example of an asteroid or comet collision that had a significant influence on life on Earth.
Seventy-five percent of all plant and animal species, including all land-based dinosaurs, were wiped off in the collision’s blast, which had the energy of several billion atomic bombs.
Similar destruction caused by asteroid or comet crashes have been represented in current movies like Don’t Look Up, Armageddon, and Deep Impact. However, according to astronomers, it is doubtful that we will soon witness such terrible repercussions in our daily lives.
The rocky object that breached Earth’s atmosphere near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on February 15, 2013 is just one example of the threat posed by small asteroids and comets.
More than 1,500 individuals were hurt when the object burst through the atmosphere, producing a four hundred kiloton boom. Its diameter was estimated to be twenty meters.
In order to better understand DART’s collision with the asteroid, the European Space Agency plans to send the robot spacecraft Hera to Dimorphos in 2024.