Did you think we were done with DART this week? We’re not.
Today, we get to bring you new images of the impact’s ejecta cloud. In an astronomy first, both the Hubble Space Telescope and JWST took observations of the same object at the same time – in this case, the moonlet asteroid Dimorphos. The two space telescopes captured images of Dimorphos before and after being impacted by the DART spacecraft.
JWST’s image, shown in red, was taken with the Near-Infrared Camera and shows a compact core as well as plumes of ejecta surrounding that center. Hubble’s image, shown in blue, was taken in visible light about 15 minutes after the impact. The ejecta is stretching out from Dimorphos, with a larger spike coming out from where the spacecraft actually hit the surface.
JWST took 10 images over five hours, and will capture spectroscopic data in the coming months. Hubble captured 45 images total and will monitor Dimorphos ten more times in the next three weeks, focusing on the ejecta cloud and how it changes over time.
We’ll keep you up to date as more images and data are released. And for those listening to the podcast, you can see the images in our show notes at DailySpace.org.
ESA press release
Hubblesite press release
Webb Space Telescope press release