NASA Sees Stunning Surprise as Smashed Asteroid Grows a Twin Tail

By Aazam

During NASA's massive planetary defense test mission last month, the DART spacecraft fired itself into an asteroid

Even though it was a huge success, recent follow-up photos of the Didymos-Dimorphos asteroid system reveal some unexpected behavior.

On September 26, DART created history when the spacecraft collided with Dimorphous, a tiny moon in orbit around Didymos, a larger asteroid

Early observations of the material ejected from the collision by Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope were very positive

Later, using ground-based telescopes to study the asteroid's extended tail, astronomers estimate its length to be about 10,000 kilometers

Since the collision, Hubble has made repeated trips back to the asteroid system to continue its investigation

Even though similar behavior is frequently observed in comets and active asteroids, the twin tail is an unexpected development, according to NASA

Scientists are currently investigating the enigma of the twin tail and how it evolved in an effort to comprehend the effects of DART's work

Being prepared is what led to DART's sacrifice, but the trip didn't end with the impact

Researchers must now interpret the asteroid's behavior and consider how to safeguard Earth using what they learn

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