NASA’s DART asteroid spewed 2 million pounds of rock into space

The massive tail created by the collision of a spacecraft and asteroid earlier this year is unlocking key information about space rocks and how to handle any such rocks that may one day threaten Earth.

NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) slammed into a small space rock called Dimorphos in late September in preparation for the possibility that humans might one day want to deflect a asteroid on a collision course with Land. Within weeks of the impact, the DART team announced that the impact shaved 32 minutes from Dimorphos’ orbit around its larger companion, didymus – in the high range of the team’s pre-launch estimates. Scientists are now sharing additional findings on the impact during the American Geophysical Union’s annual conference taking place this week in Chicago and online.

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