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Houston, we may have a problem - DART causes space debris fieldat 17:57 - 24th, July 2023
Remember that satellite that NASA launched and then sent in a direct collision course with a comet or an asteroid? Under the scenario of an asteroid / earth impact, NASA wanted to see if they could send something up there to knock the earth destroyer off course to save the planet.
It worked, kind of. They were able to change the path of the asteroid they chose, but were hoping for 10 degree change in patch and only got 4 degree. My math is probably way off but you get the point. NASA and the M5M saw this as a huge success, I remember the numbers being less than 50% of a change and people considered that a huge success.
Anyway, what's happening now?
Well, that's an interesting story as well. Ars reports:
Today, a paper was released by a team that analyzed images of the aftermath using the Hubble Space Telescope. They've spotted dozens of boulders that collectively would have originally made up 0.1 percent of the mass of Dimorphos, DART's target. And while they're all moving very slowly from the site of the collision, some of them should be able to escape the gravity of the double asteroid system.
So, for those keeping track at home,
Based on the amount of light they reflect, the researchers estimate that the boulders they're seeing are in the range of 4–7 meters across. This is based on the average reflectivity of the parent asteroids; obviously, any darker or brighter boulders will throw these estimates off. The researchers also use a single-density estimate based on the intact asteroids to figure out the boulders' likely masses. Collectively, they're estimated to carry about 0.1 percent of the pre-collision mass of Dimorphos.
So based on Hubble, they've been able to track the things but only when the light reflects off of certain surfaces. So for all we now, there could be more and larger objects out there.
Well done lads, you're failing upwards...
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