NOTE: NASA is providing two feeds of the occasion — learn on for extra particulars.
NASA is about to intentionally crash a spacecraft right into a distant asteroid in a first-of-its-kind planetary protection take a look at.
The hope is that by slamming a spacecraft into an asteroid at a velocity of round 15,000 mph, we will alter its orbit, thereby confirming a technique to direct doubtlessly hazardous house rocks away from Earth.
To be clear, NASA’s goal asteroid, Dimorphos, poses no risk to Earth. That is merely an effort to find out the viability of such a course of if we do ever spot a big asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Check (DART) spacecraft, which launched in November 2021, will attain Dimorphos on Monday, September 26, and the entire occasion can be streamed on-line.
The 530-feet-wide Dimorphos asteroid is orbiting one other one known as Didymos, which is about half a mile throughout.
When DART smashes into Dimorphos at a location about 6.8 million miles from Earth, telescopes right here on the bottom will analyze the asteroid’s orbit to see if it has modified in any method.
DART is provided with an instrument known as the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Digicam for Optical Navigation (DRACO). DRACO is guiding DART to its ultimate vacation spot and also will present a real-time feed from the spacecraft, sending one picture per second again to Earth.
NASA says that within the hours earlier than influence, the display will seem largely black, other than a single level of sunshine marking the placement of the binary asteroid system that the spacecraft is heading towards.
However because the second of influence attracts nearer, the purpose of sunshine will get larger and finally detailed asteroids can be seen.
Final week, DART additionally ejected a digicam known as the Mild Italian CubeSat for Imaging Asteroids (LICIACube). This may fly previous Dimorphos about three minutes after the influence, capturing high-resolution photos of the crash web site, together with the ensuing plume of asteroid materials and presumably the newly fashioned influence crater.
The DART spacecraft is ready to influence the Dimorphos asteroid at 7:14 p.m. ET (4:14 p.m. PT) on Monday, September 26.
NASA is providing two feeds of the occasion. The primary, embedded on the high of this web page, affords probably the most up-to-date DRACO digicam feed and begins at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT). The second feed, which can be found on this page, affords related protection and begins half an hour earlier at 5:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. PT).
NASA mentioned that after influence, the feed will flip black because of a loss sign. Then, after about two minutes, the stream will present a replay displaying the ultimate moments main as much as influence.
At 8 p.m. NASA will livestream a press briefing discussing the mission.