Asteroid leaves behind a 10,000 km trail of debris after NASA probe crashes into it

Dust material was seen as the DART hit the asteroid, which led to the formation of a cloud

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, October 06, 2022, 06:17 PM IST
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Representative image | NOIRLab

NASA's DART spacecraft that intentionally crashed into an asteroid Dimorphos, which orbits a larger asteroid, Didymos, on September 26, left behind a huge amount of debris. A huge tail of dust was seen stretching from the asteroid.

The dust material was seen as the DART hit the asteroid, which led to the formation of a cloud and asteroid. It can be seen that when comet tails form as they approach the sun from the outer regions of the solar system, the tail-like structure is created as the radiation pressure from the sun pushes the debris out from the asteroid's body. 

The image shows Dimorphos' new feature extending from the centre of the image to the right-hand edge of the image. Calculating the distance from Earth, the tail is estimated to be around 10,000 kilometres long.

Teddy Kareta, in a press statement. Kareta is an astronomer at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, “It is amazing how clearly we were able to capture the structure and extent of the aftermath in the days following the impact.”

The asteroid impact caused by the DART will continue to be tracked by SOAR as it continues to gather data. The Astronomical Event Observatory Network (AEON) of telescopes, which is committed to swiftly pursuing reports of novel astronomical events, includes SOAR as a crucial member.

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