NASA’s DART Spacecraft and Booster

February 08, 2022


Photographer: Patrick Wiggins, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador to Utah

Summary Author: Patrick Wiggins, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador to Utah

I captured these images of NASA’s DART spacecraft and booster rocket on the morning of November, 25, 2021. DART is on an intentional collision course with the moonlet of an asteroid known as Didymos. This video consists of 169 ten second exposures, taken between 01:14 and 01:52 UT, about 19 hours after DART launched. During that time the distance to the spacecraft increased from about 247,000 to about 255,600 km (just over half the distance to the Moon). Note that the DART spacecraft is in the lead with its tumbling and flashing booster following.

Photo details: Field of view is about 18 x 26 arc minutes. North is up and east is to the left. Images were shot with an SBIG ST-10XME imager binned 3x3 and chilled to -10 C through a clear filter and Celestron 14 telescope, operating at f/5.5.

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