On Monday night, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft completed its mission by crashing into the asteroid Dimorphos, a piece of rock the size of an Egyptian pyramid 11 million kilometers from Earth.
Beyond the usefulness of the event, which will help us to understand how much we are able to deflect such an object in case it comes upon us, it was really exciting to be able to see such an explosion.
Many enthusiasts have been able to see the impact from Earth, with their telescopes placed in the garden, but obviously the most incredible images come from the two space telescopes Hubble and James Webb.
An image taken by James Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) four hours after the impact shows “plumes of material that appear as threads moving away from the center of the impact site” was said by all. the parties involved: ESA and NASA. Additionally, the Hubble images at 22 minutes, five hours and eight hours after impact show the spray of expanding matter from where DART hit.
The images portray an impact that seems “much greater than we expected,” said Ian Carnelli of the European Space Agency. “… maybe a piece of Dimorphos has just been detached”.