When DART Met Dimorphos

In this first image, the footprint of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft and its two long solar panels has been overlaid with where it hit asteroid Dimorphos. The largest boulder near the impact site is about 6.5 meters across. DART took the image three seconds before impact.

When DART struck Dimorphos, the spacecraft body hit between two large boulders, and its two solar panels hit the boulders. The yellow surface in the sconce image is a digital terrain model of the impact site made from DART images, and the model of the spacecraft shows its orientation a few tens of microseconds before impact. The white line extending from the back of the spacecraft is its trajectory. The spacecraft’s body was about 1.3 m from front to back.
Credits: NASA / Johns Hopkins APL

2 thoughts on “When DART Met Dimorphos

    • Probably not. The impact velocity was over 3.6 miles per second. That’s a lot faster than a speeding bullet—around 6X the muzzle velocity of a typical AR15 round.

      The impact energy was roughly equivalent to 45 kg of TNT.

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