For NASA's DART spacecraft, the drama happens in space, but mission success relies on telescopes back on Earth.
Asteroids are space rocks thought to be the remains left over from the formation of the solar system. They range in size from tiny (the size of a car or so) to truly giant, with at least one - Ceres - gaining dwarf planet status. In our solar system, billions of asteroids are in the asteroid belt, a region around the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Others stray from this region, and can potentially post an impact threat to the Earth. At least one interstellar asteroid, called 'Oumuamua, has passed through our solar system. Learn more about asteroids here.
The Virtual Telescope Project will attempt to show DART's impact through its network of ground-based telescopes.
A NASA spacecraft will soon make history when it crashes into an asteroid in the world's first planetary defense test. Here's what time it will happen and how to watch.
NASA's Double Asteroid Redirect Mission (DART) aims to move a space rock from its orbit in a safe planetary defense test Sept. 26, and you can watch the action live.
The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a star surrounded by a shroud of gas created by a recent explosion.
Reference NASA DART mission will be the first to test asteroid deflection for planetary defense by smashing a spacecraft into an asteroid. Explore the mission here.
When NASA's DART mission slams itself into an asteroid called Dimorphos, three different science spacecraft will be trying to watch the action.
During a media briefing on Thursday (Sept. 22), the DART mission team said they are confident that the craft will smash into the asteroid Dimorphos as planned on Monday (Sept. 26).
NASA's DART mission mimics what scientists would do if an asteroid were headed toward Earth, but there are a few differences compared to defense against a real asteroid impact.
DART's asteroid target is actually a space rock pair, which makes it ideal for planetary defense practice — but that's not all that attracted NASA and its partners.
Massive volcanic eruptions may have played an important role in mass extinctions throughout history, including the one that killed the dinosaurs.
NASA's asteroid smasher DART captured a photo of Jupiter and its four moons to test its autonomous navigation system that will lead it to the collision with asteroid Dimorphos next week.
NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) probe will slam into an asteroid next week, and we'll get to watch the action live.
We currently know of no asteroid hazards for Earth, but planetary defense experts are on the case in case of a threat.
By simulating the removal of craters left on the lunar surface by asteroid impacts, astronomers peered over 4 billion years back in time.
NASA will try out planetary defense technology with its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) this month, but don't worry — it's not because a space rock is just about to hit us.
When the DART spacecraft impacts the asteroid Dimorphos on Sept. 26 in a test of our planetary defenses, it will be a continuation of work that started decades ago.
Astronomers know of only a few dozen examples of these active asteroids, but they suspect more are out there — and you can join the hunt.
Heads of the world's major space agencies presented their big plans for the coming years at a major congress in Paris, while underlining the serious challenges that could affect space and humanity.
On Sept. 26, DART will slam headfirst into a small asteroid, the rare case when a spacecraft's destruction is the desired outcome.