The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is a NASA mission aimed at testing a method of planetary defense against near-Earth objects (NEOs). It’s the first attempt to change the speed and path of an asteroid. Using some of the world’s most powerful telescopes, the DART mission conducted observations to confirm earlier calculations of the orbit of Dimorphos—DART’s asteroid target—around its larger parent asteroid, Didymos, confirming where the asteroid is expected to be located at the time of impact.
The Lowell Discovery Telescope near Flagstaff, Arizona, captured this time lapse sequence (sped up 500 X) in which the asteroid Didymos moves across the night sky.
Image Credits: Lowell Observatory /N. Moskovitz