Here is how you can watch NASA’s DART spacecraft crash into the Dimorphos asteroid in what is the first test of a planetary defence mechanism.
NASA’s DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft is scheduled to have its planned collision with the asteroid Dimorphos at approximately 7.14 PM EDT on September 26 (4.44 AM IST on September 27). DART will be the first mission that tests a method that could potentially be used to redirect asteroids that pose a threat to our planet. Here is how you can watch the space agency’s live stream of the event.
NASA will be livestreaming the event on NASA TV, the space agency’s app and its YouTube channel. You can also watch the crash in the window above. The agency will begin the livestream from the spacecraft at 6 PM EDT on September 26 (3.30 AM IST on September 27.
Dimorphos is a 160-metre-wide asteroid that orbits the much larger Didymos, which is about 780-metres wide. When DART crashes into Dimorphos, it will subtly change the way that the smaller asteroid orbits the bigger one. Scientists on Earth will measure this change using telescopes on the planet and in space, including the Webb telescope and Hubble.
Dimorphos does not pose any actual threat to Earth but scientists will obtain important data from the mission. They will compare this data to the many computer-generated simulations they have already run to see whether the “kinetic impact” method can be effective as a mitigation strategy in the event of an actual threat from an asteroid.
The DART spacecraft has only one instrument on board: DRACO, or the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation. It is a high-resolution camera that will capture images of Didymos and Dimorphos while simultaneously supporting DART’s autonomous guidance system.