How to watch as NASA sends a spacecraft to deliberately crash into a 525-foot-wide asteroid at 15,000 mph


NASA scientists are gearing up for the world’s first mission testing planetary protection — they usually need you to observe.

The area company’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will check expertise to defend Earth towards future asteroids and comets by intentionally crashing into an asteroid — which poses no menace to Earth — at some 15,000 mph. The goal, a bigger asteroid’s moonlet named Dimorphos, measures about 525 toes huge. 

The objective of the check is to show {that a} spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a particular asteroid and purposely crash into it, disintegrating on impression and altering the article’s pace and path. Scientists purpose to measure that change utilizing telescopes on Earth. 

The mission would not fairly mirror a sci-fi catastrophe film like “Armageddon,” because it goals to deflect the asteroid quite than destroy it utterly. 

NASA plans to stay stream your complete occasion on September 26, and it is inviting the general public to tune in on its web site, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. A stay briefing will happen at 6 p.m. ET on “Impact Day” from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, which builds and manages the DART spacecraft. 

Researchers anticipate the kinetic impression to happen at 7:14 p.m. ET. The area company can also be internet hosting an in-person occasion to mark the momentous event.  

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Dimorphos and Didymos to scale with acquainted constructions on Earth.

Johns Hopkins University/APL


Scientists launched the small, $330 million probe final fall, sending it to journey almost seven million miles away from Earth. It’s carrying one other small spacecraft known as LICIACube, which might be launched from DART 10 days earlier than impression in an try to {photograph} the collision and ensuing particles.

Astronomers presently estimate there are about 25,000 near-Earth asteroids which are 500 toes or bigger in dimension. DART will hopefully present crucial knowledge to assist researchers in making ready for a future asteroid that would have a catastrophic impression on our planet — in the event that they occur to find one.

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