NASA's asteroid-impacting DART mission completely changed the shape of its target

Feb 28, 2024
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I was interested to read that DART made as big an impact on Dimorphos as it did. A little while ago, I set some A-Level pupils the task of assessing DART's Earth preserving potential. Using mission data and a little A-Level Physics, the pupils found that even if with an optimal collision, DART would have to intercept a Dimorphos-like object 270 years before its arrival.

The results probably would have been different if the target was a hard rock instead of a sand pile.

These rock objects and these sand objects might come from different areas/regions of our system.

Their home ports might foretell their composition.