HomeSpace NewsAstronomers watch DART mission's asteroid Didymos eclipsing stars

Astronomers watch DART mission’s asteroid Didymos eclipsing stars

Astronomers have captured the shadow of the space rock Didymos, target of NASA’s asteroid-smashing mission, as it passed in front of distant stars. The event, known as a stellar occultation could help scientists determine a precise shape and location for the binary asteroid.

Didymos, which is about 2,560 feet (780 meters) wide, is orbited by the 525-foot (160 m) ‘moonlet’ Dimorphos, the space rock that NASA smalled its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft into on Sept. 26. The crash marked the first test of a planetary defense technique humans could use if an asteroid threatened to collide with Earth and was meant to shorten Dimorphos’ orbit around Didymos; it did so by a whopping 32 minutes.

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