Saving the Earth

DART spacecraft just hit a small asteroid orbiting a larger asteroid,
which should alter its orbit enough for ground observers to measure its change in orbital period,
thus giving some insight into this tactic’s usefulness for deflecting Earth-endangering asteroids.


Here’s a simulation of what just happened
(What? Yes, math was involved, as well as some educated guesses)

Good overview of the results
Awesome impact imagery from a ground telescope @3m30s
and from the accompanying spacecraft @7m08s

*snick*

10 Comments!

  1. TheBigHarry
    Posted September 26, 2022 at 6:57 pm |

    From the images that looks like a loose collection of rocks they hit.

  2. DougM (just entertaining myself here)
    Posted September 26, 2022 at 9:52 pm |

    TBH ^
    Yeah, I wonder if it’ll split apart.
    Interesting times.

  3. Henk Vandenbergh
    Posted September 27, 2022 at 5:07 am |

    “Humanity’s first ever ever attempt to move a body the size of Stacey Abrams”.
    Let’s hope this trial run really works.

  4. TheBigHarry
    Posted September 27, 2022 at 7:21 am |

    Doug @2 I don’t think it will split, that would require strong bonds and cleavage lines or faults.

    My guess it will react more like striking a large bean bag with a low gravitational force holding it together instead of a bag.

    Localized destruction at point of impact and the force radiating out in a wave.

    “Suddenly something went bump in the night.”

  5. jlw
    Posted September 27, 2022 at 5:19 pm |

    “NASA Saves Face By Claiming Female Astronaut Running Spaceship Into Asteroid Was Intentional”

    https://babylonbee.com/news/nasa-saves-face-by-claiming-female-astronaut-running-spaceship-into-asteroid-was-intentional

  6. Lord of the Fleas
    Posted September 27, 2022 at 7:47 pm |

    ^ Is that anything like the Navy running into cargo ships?…

  7. DougM (just entertaining myself here)
    Posted September 27, 2022 at 9:29 pm |

    jlw ^5
    *hehee*

  8. Bobo the Hobo - Ya know, I’m really starting to not like Brandon. FJB!
    Posted September 28, 2022 at 2:23 am |

    Think we can convince NASA to order a strike against hurricanes?

  9. Posted September 28, 2022 at 3:38 am |

    Seems only appropriate that the Biden Administration’s first space success means destroying a $324 million spacecraft

  10. mech
    Posted September 28, 2022 at 5:14 am |

    It’ll buff right out.