Asteroid Didymos in images captured by the Lowell Discovery Telescope in July 2022.

The asteroid NASA will slam into in September is right where scientists expected

Six nights of observations by two powerful telescopes confirmed that the orbit of double asteroid Didymos is perfectly aligned for NASA’s asteroid-smashing DART spacecraft to arrive in late September. 

The observations, conducted in early July by the Lowell Discovery Telescope in Arizona and the Magellan Telescope in Chile, confirmed earlier orbit calculations from 2021. The new data comes as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft is racing to the pair with plans to crash into the smaller rock, dubbed Dimorphos, to test a potential technique to deflect an asteroid that threatens Earth, which Didymos and Dimorphos do not.

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