NASA shared a crazy photo of the Dimorphos asteroid. The photo was taken prior to the asteroid being blasted out of orbit.
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) smashed into the large asteroid as a test late last month. The mission went successfully, and Dimorphos changed course after the impact as expected.
Agency administrator Bill Nelson shared a statement about the success.
“This mission shows that NASA is trying to be ready for whatever the Universe throws at us,” Nelson said. “I believe that NASA has proven that we are serious as a defender of the planet.”
Now, just a few weeks after the impact, images of the impact can be seen. A photo taken by ASI’s LICIACube, shows the plumes of ejecta streaming from Dimorphos after the impact.
“By studying these streams of material, we will be able to learn more about the asteroid and the impact process,” NASA wrote.
Another photo shows the debris that came from Dimorphos.
“This marks humanity’s first time purposely changing the motion of a celestial object and the first full-scale demonstration of asteroid deflection technology,” NASA said. “Images such as [these] helped scientists understand the orbit change resulting from DART’s impact.”
Astronomer Teddy Kareta at Arizona’s Lowell Observatory shared a statement about the impact.
“It is amazing how clearly we were able to capture the structure and extent of the aftermath in the days following the impact,” Kareta said.
NASA James Webb Telescope Captures Stunning Images
Many associate the organization’s James Webb Telescope with capturing insane images from space as well. Most recently, the telescope caught a photo that revealed strange dust rings.
They shared the image on their official Instagram page. The photo is visually very pretty, but the dust rings are definitely odd.
“Cosmic tree rings! Just as growth rings record the history of a tree, these rings contain more than a century’s worth of stellar history. Every eight years, the two stars in this image are brought together by their orbits — creating colliding streams of gas that, with the right conditions, form a new ring of dust. The James Webb Space Telescope reveals 15 of the 17 rings seen here for the first time!” they wrote in the caption of the post.
They went on to further explain. Astronomers know the star pair in the photo as the Wolf-Rayet 140 (WR 140), and they’re very rare.
“They’re incredibly short-lived, generating powerful winds that push huge amounts of gas into space. Scientists believe that the Wolf-Rayet star in this pair may have already shed half its original mass in this process!” they wrote.
The dust rings help astronomers understand how the stars supply materials for star and planet formation. The image is as helpful as it is stunning.