Dimporphos Sprouts a Comet-like Tail After Impact

Oct 5, 2022 | Asteroids, Daily Space, DART, Spacecraft

Dimporphos Sprouts a Comet-like Tail After Impact
IMAGE: Aftermath of DART Collision with Dimorphos Captured by SOAR Telescope. CREDIT: NOIRLab

We have another fantastic image of the after-effects of the DART spacecraft’s crash into the moonlet asteroid Dimorphos. Today’s selection was taken by the SOAR Telescope in Chile two days after the impact event and reveals a significant trail of debris reflecting in the sunlight.

The dust trail is similar in appearance to a comet’s tail; a tail that extends out from the asteroid by at least 10,000 kilometers. Once the debris trail and Dimporphos are studied, we should be able to learn just how much material was ejected and at what speed. And we should be able to determine the distribution of particle sizes in the dust cloud. Astronomer Matthew Knight notes: Now begins the next phase of work for the DART team as they analyze their data, and observations by our team and other observers around the world who shared in studying this exciting event.

We’ll bring all the latest on the DART mission and asteroid Dimorphos as the information is released.

More Information

NOIRLab press release

1 Comment

  1. John

    Does “dimporphos” mean “vaguely visible purple igneous rocks”? I love etymology!

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