The spectacular impact of a satellite against an asteroid

It is the first time in human history that an attempt has been made to change the direction of a celestial body. Scientists describe it as the first planetary defense attempt of its kind.

NASA has released images of the impressive collision of a satellite against an asteroid recorded last Monday, which was directed by the space agency to divert its orbit. Scientists have called this event the first planetary defense attempt of its kind.

The photos were taken by the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes. According to official information, NASA’s DART space probe crashed at high speed (6.4 kilometers per second) against the Dimorphos asteroid, 7 million miles from Earth.

It is the first time in human history that an attempt has been made to change the direction of a celestial body. NASA explains that it will have to wait days or even weeks to see if the unmanned spacecraft has managed to slightly alter the asteroid’s orbit.

AFP photo

The DART is about the same size as a vending machine, and cost more than $330 million to build. Meanwhile, the Dimorphos is a space body 160 kilometers in diameter similar to a moon and that revolves around another larger asteroid called Didymos, 780 meters in diameter and whose name means “twin” in Greek.

“This is an unprecedented view of an unprecedented event,” said Andy Rivkin, an astronomer at Johns Hopkins University and mission leader.

According to the scientists, Dimorphos, which was chosen because it did not represent a danger to the Earth, ended up with a “considerable crater”, however, it will not be until November that the change in its trajectory will be known.

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AFP photo
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