NOTE: NASA is providing two feeds of the occasion — learn on for extra particulars.
NASA is about to intentionally crash a spacecraft right into a distant asteroid in a first-of-its-kind planetary protection check.
The hope is that by slamming a spacecraft into an asteroid at a velocity of round 15,000 mph, we are able to alter its orbit, thereby confirming a strategy to direct doubtlessly hazardous area rocks away from Earth.
To be clear, NASA’s goal asteroid, Dimorphos, poses no menace to Earth. That is merely an effort to find out the viability of such a course of if we do ever spot a big asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Check (DART) spacecraft, which launched in November 2021, will attain Dimorphos on Monday, September 26, and the entire occasion shall be streamed on-line.
The 530-feet-wide Dimorphos asteroid is orbiting one other one referred to as Didymos, which is about half a mile throughout.
When DART smashes into Dimorphos at a location about 6.eight million miles from Earth, telescopes right here on the bottom will analyze the asteroid’s orbit to see if it has modified in any manner.
DART is supplied with an instrument referred to as the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Digicam for Optical Navigation (DRACO). DRACO is guiding DART to its remaining vacation spot and also will present a real-time feed from the spacecraft, sending one picture per second again to Earth.
NASA says that within the hours earlier than impression, the display screen will seem largely black, aside from a single level of sunshine marking the placement of the binary asteroid system that the spacecraft is heading towards.
However because the second of impression attracts nearer, the purpose of sunshine will get larger and ultimately detailed asteroids shall be seen.
Final week, DART additionally ejected a digital camera referred to as the Gentle Italian CubeSat for Imaging Asteroids (LICIACube). This can fly previous Dimorphos about three minutes after the impression, capturing high-resolution photographs of the crash website, together with the ensuing plume of asteroid materials and presumably the newly shaped impression crater.
Find out how to watch
The DART spacecraft is ready to impression the Dimorphos asteroid at 7:14 p.m. ET (4:14 p.m. PT) on Monday, September 26.
NASA is providing two feeds of the occasion. The primary, embedded on the high of this web page, gives essentially the most up-to-date DRACO digital camera feed and begins at 6 p.m. ET (three p.m. PT). The second feed, which will be discovered on this web page, gives related protection and begins half an hour earlier at 5:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. PT).
NASA mentioned that after impression, the feed will flip black resulting from a loss sign. Then, after about two minutes, the stream will present a replay exhibiting the ultimate moments main as much as impression.
At eight p.m. NASA will livestream a press briefing discussing the mission.