A NASA Spacecraft is about to collide with an asteroid in an effort to keep earth safe.

Dimorphos is easily one of the least interesting objects in the solar system. It’s a rock—a moonlet, really—measuring just 160 m (525 ft.) across, orbiting the asteroid Didymos, which itself measures only 780 m (2,560 ft). Located 11 million km (6.8 million mi.) from Earth, the Didymos-Dimorphos system is just one tiny part of the river of rubble that circles the sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

But on Monday, Sept. 26 at precisely 7:14 p.m. ET, the attention of much of the astronomical community will be directed at Dimorphos. That’s the moment at which NASA’s DART spacecraft (short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test) will punch the moonlet in the nose—deliberately colliding with it at a speed of about 28,200 k/h (17,500 mph). The results of that cosmic crack-up could go a long way to determining how NASA and the world’s other space agencies can keep the planet safe from incoming asteroids: destroying or deflecting them before they can do the kind of cataclysmic damage that occurred when a 10 to 15 km (6.2 to 9.3 mi.) space rock crashed off the Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago, causing the global extinction event that spelled the end of the dinosaurs.

Source: https://time.com


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