A week after a NASA spacecraft targeted a far-off asteroid, scientists have captured the long tail of debris left behind.
Smacked asteroid’s debris trail more than 10,000 kilometers long
The asteroid that got smacked by a NASA spacecraft is now being trailed by thousands of miles of debris from the impact.
Astronomers captured the scene millions of miles away with a telescope in Chile. Their remarkable observation two days after last month’s planetary defense test was recently released a National Science Foundation lab in Arizona.
The image shows an expanding, comet-like tail more than 10,000 kilometers long, consisting of dust and other material spewed from the impact crater.
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This plume is accelerating away from the harmless asteroid, in large part, because of pressure on it from solar radiation, said Matthew Knight of the US Naval Research Laboratory, who made the observation along with Lowell Observatory’s Teddy Kareta using the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope.