The aftermath of the DART crash was captured by telescopes in space and across Earth. Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's associate administrator for science, says that the smash-up was the first human experiment to affect a body in a different way.

Andy Rivkin is a planetary scientist at the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Maryland.

The impact took place 11 million kilometres from Earth and was photographed by LICIACube. The Italian Space Agency released the first images of LICIA on September 27th. The cloud of rocks and other debris grew fast.


The evolution of the plume will shed light on the physical properties of Dimorphos. Researchers can calculate how much of DART's energy went into the debris ejected from Dimorphos and how much went into altering the asteroid's path.

The video shows the final five minutes of imagery relayed to Earth by the DART spacecraft as it flew past the asteroid Didymos to impact Didymos's moonlet. The APL is owned by NASA and JohnsHopkins.

The space craft is done. Megan Syal is a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. I don't believe there will be large chunks left.

LICIACube used an autonomously guiding technique to keep its cameras locked on Dimorphos as it whizzed past in the aftermath of the DART crash. Two cameras were used to take pictures of Dimorphos before and after the crash. The pictures show a dramatic change in the sky at the time of the impact. Modellers will be able to understand how the impact unfolded thanks to the intricate structures in the debris plume.


More than 600 images are waiting to be downloaded to Earth.

A ‘big jumble of rocks’

The Great Pyramid-sized target was hit by DART at 7.14pm. Time in the US. A control centre in Italy received the first images from LICIACube.

Dimorphos is mostly intact despite the large amount of debris. Other views of the impact, captured by ground-based telescopes, show a puffs of smoke as the rest of the asteroid hurtled onwards. The first observations of dimorphos were made from telescopes in the Indian Ocean and South Africa. Dozens of telescopes are watching it to see if it has changed.

You can sign up for Scientific American's newsletters.

It will take days to weeks for astronomy to confirm if DART accomplished its main goal, which is to speed up Dimorphos around Didymos. The purpose of the test is to see if humans could change the trajectory of an asteroid if a dangerous space rock were to hit Earth.

Before DART arrived, dimorphos hadn't been seen up close. The asteroid is shaped like an egg. Dimorphos is also covered in boulders according to a series of images taken by DART. Rivkin says it's pretty clear a rubble pile. There's a lot of rocks.


The article was published on September 27th, 2022.