NASA will launch tonight his own armageddon. Well, there are no drillers and nuclear bombs, but the point is that they will try for the first time change the trajectory of the asteroid. This does not pose a danger to the planet, but it is better not to carry out pressure tests. And that is precisely the purpose of the mission. dart. Rehearse and learn how to do it so that you have a weapon ready when the moment of truth comes.
The ship was launched on November 24, 2021 and is heading to Didymos and Dimorphospair of asteroids 780 and 160 meters in diameter respectivelywhich are located 11 million kilometers from our planet.
The main target of DART is a smaller one, although Didymos will also play a very important role in the experiment. The impact is expected to occur around 23:15 UTC. That is, at 01:15 Spanish Peninsular Time and 18:15 Mexican Time. Although the broadcast will start a little earlier and we will be able to see everything live.
Why is an asteroid impact dangerous?
An asteroid impact is a real danger that scientists take very seriously. For this reason, so-called near-Earth objects (NEOs) are constantly monitored. The goal is to observe their orbits and predict the likelihood that they impact on our planet. Thus, those with a higher probability are treated in a more exhaustive way.
But what happens if the probability grows larger and larger, turning into a real danger? As explained in the article for Talk professor of radio astronomy Stephen Tingay, “an asteroid with a diameter of 25 meters can cause injury from an air shock wave explosion if it enters the atmosphere over the villagea”.
It is estimated that there may be 5 million objects with these characteristics in the solar system. But only about 0.4% was found. If we ascend into the dimensions of Dimorphos, the losses will be very significant.
Impact is unlikely, but there is a possibility. Therefore solutions must be found. Today, the only thing that could be done was evacuate the impact zone. In fact, even with other alternatives, if the object were detected when it was already too close, the solution would still be this. Now, if it is within this percentage that has already been discovered, more ingenious solutions could be programmed. One of them would be to change the trajectory of the asteroid. collision with another object. This is something that has never been done before, and this is where DART comes to the rescue.
DART: Movie Mission
dart it Ship 500 kgdesigned to hit the asteroid at the right point and with the right force to deflect its trajectory.
Dimorphos was chosen for his essay for two reasons. On the one hand, since there is no possibility that the fragments of the impact land riskno matter how bad it was. On the other hand, since being binary system, of two asteroids, you can learn more precisely how the trajectory has affected by observing changes in the reflection of sunlight on them. Because they orbit each other on a 12-hour cycle, a change in trajectory can cause changes in this aspect that are easy to detect with the most powerful telescopes on Earth.
How can we see it?
Undoubtedly, it will be a historical event, it is worth getting some sleep if we find ourselves in Spain.
NASA will begin broadcasting here at 0000 Spanish Peninsular Time and 1700 Mexican Time.
However, the impact will be in about an hour. Later, scientists from darts mission they will make their statements about the results, which we hope will be successful. For reality to succeed, rehearsals must not disappoint. We’ll find out soon.
Source: Hiper Textual