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The amazing impact of a satellite on an asteroid

The amazing impact of a satellite on 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 attempt at a planetary defense of its kind.

NASA released images of the collision of a large satellite with an asteroid that were recorded last Monday, which instructed the space agency to shift its orbit. Scientists have called this event the first attempt at a planetary defense of its kind.

The images were taken by the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes. According to official information, NASA’s DART space probe crashed at a high speed (6.4 kilometers per second) against the asteroid Demorphos, 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.

Photo by AFP

DART is roughly the same size as a vending machine, and it cost more than $330 million to build. Meanwhile, Demorphos is a space object with a diameter of 160 kilometers similar to the Moon, orbiting another larger asteroid called Didymos, with a diameter of 780 meters and whose name means “twin” in Greek.

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

According to scientists, the Dimorphos, which were chosen because they are not dangerous to Earth, ended up with a “big crater”, however, the change in its trajectory will not be known until November.

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Photo by AFP
Photo by AFP

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