There are more images and details coming in about the asteroid deliberately hit by NASA.

Two days after the impact by DART, a telescope in Chile took an image of the asteroid Dimorphos and it was found to be more than 10,000 kilometers away. The debris trail could be as long as 50,000 km, according to some reports.

Astronomers using the NSF’s NOIRLab’s SOAR telescope in Chile captured the vast plume of dust and debris blasted from the surface of the asteroid Dimorphos by NASA’s DART spacecraft when it impacted on 26 September 2022. In this image, the dust trail is more than 10,000 kilometer long. Credit: NOIRlab.

Matthew Knight, an astronomer from the US Naval Academy, and Teddy Kareta, an astronomer from theLowell Observatory, used the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope. The best image of the huge dust and debris that was blasted from the asteroid was captured by them.

The astronomer said that the dust trail seen here is the ejected object that has been pushed away by the Sun. It would take at least 10,000 kilometers to reach the point of impact with Dimorphos being so far away.

The structure and extent of the aftermath were clearly captured by Kareta.

The astronomer said on October 3 that the tail had grown to 13 minutes. By now, the tail could measure at least 50,000 km. The evolution of the debris tail can be seen in an animation.

We hope to be able to share more high-resolution images of the debris trail when we use SOAR to monitor the ejecta.

Dimorphos is a moonlet that is in the vicinity of Didymos and DART crashed into it. This was the first planetary defense test in which an impact of a spaceship tried to change an asteroid's position. The DART team needs several weeks of analysis to figure out if the Dimorphos around Didymos were changed.

SOAR Telescope with snow on mountain. Credit:CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. Fuentes

If planetary scientists wanted to understand how asteroids respond to impacts, they would need to conduct tests like this. Scientists want to better understand the amount and nature of the ejected matter after an impact.

The next phase of work for the DART team will begin as they analyze their data and observations by our team and other observers around the world.

The NOIRLab press release has been read.