Thursday, October 20, 2022


 Hey Space Placers!

Researchers have modeled the tsunami created by the nine-mile-wide asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs 66 million years ago. (Video: University of Michigan)

66 million years ago an asteroid about 9 miles across hit the waters in the Gulf of Mexico and unleashed hell on Earth that killed off the dinosaurs.

New research has determined that the colossal impact unleashed a global tsunami that reached a height of a mile and traveled at supersonic speed.

Planetary defense using telescopes and spacecraft to detect killer asteroids and comets followed by launching of an impactor like NASA recently did with its DART mission, should prevent an impact like this from happening again.

Here is the latest photograph from Hubble Space Telescope showing the debris tail from that DART mission impact.

A bright blue spot is at the left-center of the image, which has a black background. The spot is the Didymos-Dimorphos system after impact from the DART spacecraft. The center bright spot has 3 diffraction spikes extending from its core at the 1 o’clock, 7 o’clock, and 10 o’clock positions. There is a small amount of dusty haze just below the southern pole of the center dot. Two tails of ejecta that appear as white streams of material extend out from the center at the 2 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions.

About This Image

Two tails of dust ejected from the Didymos-Dimorphos asteroid system are seen in new images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, documenting the lingering aftermath of the NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) impact.

The DART spacecraft impacted Dimorphos, a small moonlet of Didymos, on Sept. 26 in a planetary defense test to change Dimorphos’ orbit by crashing into it.

Repeated observations from Hubble over the last several weeks have allowed scientists to present a more complete picture of how the system’s debris cloud has evolved over time. The observations show that the ejected material, or “ejecta,” has expanded and faded in brightness as time went on after impact, largely as expected. The twin tail is an unexpected development, although similar behavior is commonly seen in comets and active asteroids. The Hubble observations provide the best-quality image of the double-tail to date.

Following impact, Hubble made 18 observations of the system. Imagery indicates the second tail formed between Oct. 2 and Oct. 8.

In this image, DART impacted the Didymos-Dimorphos system from the 10 o’clock direction.

The relationship between the comet-like tail and other ejecta features seen at various times in images from Hubble and other telescopes is still unclear, and is something the Investigation Team is currently working to understand.


IMAGE PROCESSING: Joseph DePasquale 

Sky Guy in VA

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