How to Watch Monday's Collision With Asteroid

NASA will be live-streaming the deliberate smash in the evening
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2022 7:47 AM CDT
You Can Watch an Asteroid Get Dinged on Monday
This illustration depicts the DART spacecraft approaching the asteroids Dimorphos, left, and Didymos. The craft will smash into Dimorphos on Monday. At bottom right is a smaller observation craft.   (Steve Gribben/Johns Hopkins APL/NASA via AP)

It's not every day you get to watch a spacecraft smash into an asteroid, but Monday just happens to be one. In fact, the impact is expected to occur at precisely 7:14pm Eastern, and it will be streamed at NASA Live. Outlets including and CNET also will be providing live coverage. NASA's own coverage begins at 3pm Eastern. The deliberate collision is an experiment—space scientists want to better understand how to deflect a potentially catastrophic asteroid should the need arise.

In this case, the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft will smash into the asteroid Dimorphos, about 7 million miles away, at 14,000mph. In terms of scale, it will be like "running a golf cart into the Great Pyramid," Nancy Chabot of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory tells NPR. Dimorphos poses no threat to Earth, nor does the larger asteroid it orbits, and Monday's experiment is expected to only nudge it slightly off course. "There is no scenario in which one or the other body can become a threat to the Earth," says NASA's Thomas Zurbuchen. "It's just not scientifically possible, just because of momentum conservation and other things." (More asteroid stories.)

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