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Watch NASA crash DART into an asteroid at 6PM ET

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft is about to crash into the asteroid Dimorphos, and you will have loads of choices to observe alongside because it occurs. The space company is livestreaming protection of the DART collision beginning at 6PM Eastern, and you may tune into both a full presentation or a dedicated stream from the craft’s DRACO (Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical Navigation) instrument. That final feed will present one picture per second up-to-the-minute of influence. The automobile is predicted to smash into Dimorphos at about 7:14PM, though its distance from Earth will delay the footage you see.

You aren’t tied to official sources, both. The Virtual Telescope Project will host its own stream beginning at 6:30PM ET. It’s teaming up with two South African observatories to offer an Earth-bound view of the collision. The Didymos asteroid system (the place Dimorphos is a moonlet) will simply be a dot, however it is best to see it flare up after DART makes contact.

DART will gauge the viability of utilizing spacecraft to deflect asteroids, comets and different objects that may in any other case strike Earth. If all goes effectively, it’s going to present that NASA can use autonomous autos as defensive programs and ensure the outcomes utilizing floor telescopes. Dimorphos is an splendid candidate because of each its relative proximity and the shortage of threats — NASA will not inadvertently create the very calamity it is making an attempt to keep away from.

This will not be the one mission headed to the Didymos system, both. The European Space Agency expects its Hera mission to achieve Didymos by 2026, when it’s going to research DART’s results on Dimorphos. If there are any questions left after tonight’s one-way flight, they need to be answered inside a couple of years.

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