A* Episode 44, Page 75
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Surface of the asteroid Dimorphos seconds before impact, from the DART impactor:
 
../.._dimorphos_dart.jpg
image by Doug Ellison & NASA (Original) (source)
 
Dimorphos closely orbits a larger asteroid, Didymos:
 
../.._dimorphos_didymos_dart.jpg
image by NASA/Johns Hopkins APL (source)
 
The idea is to measure by how much DART's impact slows Dimorphos' orbit, as practice for some day deflecting much larger, Earth-threatening asteroids.
 
The Italian Space Agency has posted photos of the impact's many-tendrilled debris cloud, taken by their trailing LICIACube satellite. The South African Astronomical Observatory has tweeted an animation of the impact as seen by their ground telescope.
 
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The original 16" x 6.75" watercolor art for today's new A* page is up for auction on eBay. : )

 
 

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