James Webb Space Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope captured views of a unique NASA experiment DART beautifully.
The experiment was designed to intentionally smash a spacecraft into a small asteroid in the world’s first-ever in-space test for planetary defence.
A time-lapse of images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope covering the time spanning just before impact at 7:14 p.m. EDT, Sept. 26, through 5 hours post-impact.
Plumes of material from a compact core appear as wisps streaming away from where the impact took place. An area of rapid, extreme brightening is also visible in the animation.
This combines three of the images NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured after NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) intentionally impacted Dimorphous.
The animation spans from 22 minutes after impact to 8.2 hours after the collision took place. As a result of the impact, the brightness of the Didymos-Dimorphos system increased by 3 times.
“This is an unprecedented view of an unprecedented event,” summarized Andy Rivkin, DART investigation team lead of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.