Evolution of the cloud of debris around Dimorphos and Didymos after the DART impact

This video shows the evolution of the cloud of debris that was ejected after NASA’s DART spacecraft collided with the asteroid Dimorphos. The animation is based on a series of images taken with the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) for one month after the impact.

The first image was taken on 26 September 2022, just before the impact, and the last one was taken almost one month later on 25 October. Over this period several structures developed: clumps, spirals, and a long tail of dust pushed away by the Sun’s radiation.

Dimorphos orbits a larger asteroid called Didymos, but they can’t be discerned in these images.

The background streaks seen here are due to the apparent movement of the background stars during the observations while the telescope was tracking the asteroid pair.


ESO/Opitom et al.

About the Video

Release date:21 March 2023, 14:00
Related releases:eso2303
Duration:24 s
Frame rate:25 fps

About the Object

Name:Didymos, Dimorphos
Type:Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Asteroid
Category:Solar System

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