NASA held a press conference today to confirm the first scientific results of the DART probe, which deliberately crashed into the asteroid Dimorphos on 27 September. The first observations from telescopes on Earth confirmed that the orbit of a small asteroid had changed by about 32 minutes, which was proof that such a technique could be used to disrupt the asteroid.
The asteroid orbit changed from 11.55 a.m. to 11.23 a.m. For the first time in history, mankind was able to deliberately change the orbit of a natural object in space, bringing our planetary defence to a new level.
The accuracy with which the orbital change has been measured so far is about two minutes. Before the impact, it was expected to change orbit by 73 seconds, so the result exceeded all expectations. However, the models estimated the change from a few seconds to a few tens of minutes. So this is an incredible result, but not entirely consistent with projections.
The orbital analysis of Dimorphos is just beginning to begin. After demonstrating that the orbit of the asteroid has changed, the observations will now continue to improve the accuracy of the new orbit, but not only. It was noted from the first analysis that such a major change not only caused the crash itself, but also caused the wreckage. They acted as a sort of rocket exhaust, pushing the asteroid even further. In a picture taken by Hubble, the tail of the wreck extends to 10,000 km.
"," said Nancy Shabo, coordinating manager of DART at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. "