Asteroid Didymos: NASA’s galactic goal observe for DART


Didymos is a binary asteroid system: a pair of innocent, lumpy rocks minding their very own enterprise as they spin by way of space. NASA’s DART mission needs to crash a spaceship into them. The smaller asteroid within the system, often known as Dimorphos, is the goal of a NASA mission to show its growing planetary protection strategies. While Didymos just isn’t risk to Earth, this know-how may shield Earth from different space rocks which may be extra harmful.

What is Didymos?

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These 14 radar pictures present the near-Earth asteroid Didymos (65803) and its moonlet as seen by the Arecibo Observatory radio telescope in Puerto Rico in November 2003.  (Image credit score: NASA)

The pair of asteroids collectively are often known as Didymos, however individually the 2 rocks are Didymos and Dimorphos. Didymos is a big asteroid round half a mile (2,560 ft or 780 meters) in size, whereas Dimorphos measures a mere 525 ft (160 m), in line with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL), the place the DART mission relies. In some earlier protection from, Dimorphos has been known as Didymos’ moonlet or as “Didymoon.”

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