Double Asteroid Redirection Test is a mission of planetary defence to test how to redirect an asteroid near the Earth. Researchers want to achieve this by crashing a spacecraft with it to change its trajectory. Their goal is the moon Dimorphos, a small celestial body orbiting the asteroid Didimos at a distance of about 11 million km from the Earth. Scientists added that they only test the technique, Dimorphos and Didimos pose no threat to the Earth.
NASA will broadcast the operation live. The only DART instrument, an optical navigation camera for the exploration of Didimos and asteroids, will transmit approximately one image per second as it approaches the target.
But the camera will shut down when it hits Dimorphos at 6.6 km/s. But the Rome-based Virtual Telescope project wants to broadcast directly the immediate impact of DART in real time using ground-based telescopes.
As the Virtual Telescope Project could not observe the impact, the organization entered into a partnership with two South African Observatorys: Klein Caroo, run by Berto Monard, and the Northwest University Astronomy Observatory, Mahikeng.
The view of ground telescopes will not be detailed — the Didimos system is just a point in the sky seen from the Earth — but if everything goes according to plan, you will see increased brightness during and after the impact.
In order to consider the collision closer, DART would have to wait until it had launched a light cube to film the Italian Space Agency asteroids, it would pass the collision site three minutes later. These images would be published during the day after the impact.
Live broadcast will be available on the tape.