NASA asteroid test left ‘6000 mile trail of destruction’ floating through space

NASA's 'planetary defence mission' to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid last month almost went off without a hitch—but not quite.

In the first mission of its kind, NASA boffins wanted to find out if they could avert the Apocalypse should a deadly asteroid ever head our way.

The collision during the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) was described as a 'bullseye', and hit the asteroid bang on.

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However, the DART mission has left a bit of a mess behind—in the form of a 6000-mile long debris trail across the depths of outer space.

A new image by the SOAR Telescope in Chile shows that the DART mission left a 10,000km (6000 mile) debris trail from the surface of the asteroid just two days after impact.

Astronomers say that the vast plume of dust and debris was 'blasted away from the asteroid's surface' and will give scientists material to study about the surface of the asteroid.

Teddy Kareta from the Lowell Observatory said: "It is amazing how clearly we were able to capture the structure and extent of the aftermath in the days following the impact."

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Astronomers will continue to observe the debris trail as NASA gathers data on the success of the mission, as it is still not clear whether or by how much the DART mission was able to change the path of the asteroid.

NASA has attempted to reassure people by stating that there is no chance the asteroid will collide with Earth, and that instead the mission was just a test of a strategy which could protect us from hazards in the future.


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