Can today's DART/Dimorphos impact be seen with naked eye?


1 Answer 1



So, impact done. Some images:

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Shortly before impact:

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Motion clips from or compiled from ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System): A NASA and University of Hawaii project, and 1 meter telescope at South African Astronomical Observatory:

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Image from LICIACube spacecraft's LUKE camera shortly after impact:

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Original answer:


With naked eye? no; on-line streaming? yes



What will be visible when the DART spacecraft crashes into a tiny asteroid

A live broadcast will kick off on NASA’s website beginning at 6 p.m. ET Monday

The DART spacecraft is carrying an imager called DRACO, short for Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation, that will share a live stream of images as it nears the double-asteroid system. Those images will be shared at a rate of one per second, providing a video-like experience for viewers.

What starts as 1 pixel will eventually become an incredibly detailed look at Dimorphos before DART slams into it.

Also on the journey is the Italian Space Agency’s Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroids, or LICIACube. This briefcase-size CubeSat hitched a ride with DART to space and detached from the spacecraft on September 11.

On the CubeSat are two cameras called LUKE (LICIACube Unit Key Explorer) and LEIA (LICIACube Explorer Imaging for Asteroid). Together, they will collect images and help guide LICIACube on its journey.

Ground-based observatories around the world will be observing the asteroid system as a way to confirm if DART successfully changed the asteroid’s motion.


Didymos measures about 780 meters (2,560 feet) across, placing its size between Ryugu and Bennu. Dimorphos is smaller than both, measuring just 160 meters (525 feet) across.

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    $\begingroup$ Woah! I must say, I didn’t expect for there to be videos from earth able to discern a plume, but it looks like I was wrong. $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ A lot of artists impression before seemed wrong for this - In an interview afterwards someone said that they would have to re-examine their work of what impacts look like in space. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 17:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No we weren't expecting that either... Pre-impact predictions were that it was likely to need HST or JWST or large telescope adaptive optics to see structure. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 18:11

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