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Mankind’s first attempt to change the course of an asteroid. The James Webb and Hubble telescopes will follow the DART mission

The James Webb and Hubble Space Telescopes will monitor the first attempt in human history to correct the course of an astroid.

Already tonight, the DART mission spacecraft will crash into the asteroid Dimorph. To form a more complete picture, the collision will be monitored, including space telescopes. Moreover, for the newest “James Webb” this will be a very difficult task, since it was not originally designed for this at all. But scientists will better understand the possibilities of the observatory. “Hubble”, in turn, will be able to start observing only 15 minutes after the impact, since at the time of the impact it will be on the other side of the Earth.

The goal of the DART mission is not even to change the course of the asteroid itself, but to understand whether it can be done in this way, and how effective it is. Based on the results of this mission, people will have a better understanding of whether it is possible to prevent the threat of a collision with the Earth of any space body in this way.

True, specifically within the framework of the DART mission, the conditions are very specific. Firstly, the Dimorph asteroid itself, which is a satellite of the larger Didyma, has a diameter of only about 160 meters, that is, in the event of a fall to Earth, it will certainly pose a significant threat, but the collision will not become a catastrophe on a planetary scale. Secondly, the satellite that will hit the asteroid, although it will do so at a speed of 6.6 km / s, is only about 1.2 meters across. However, in any case, this is a unique mission and a unique case for scientists.

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