NASA is poised to strike a small, harmless asteroid millions of kilometres away with a powerful object in a world-saving experiment that will be the first of its kind. A spacecraft called Dart will approach the asteroid and aim to collide with it at 14,000 mph (22,500 kph).
This will show that, if a killer asteroid ever comes our way, we would have a fighting chance of deflecting it. The collision should be just enough to move the asteroid into a slightly tighter orbit around its companion space rock.
Dimorphos, which is around 7 million miles (9.6 million kilometres) from Earth, is the asteroid with the bull's-eye on it.
Its original name, Didymos, which means "twin" in Greek, refers to its little sidekick, a 2,500-foot (780-meter) asteroid.
Didymos, which was found in 1996, spins so quickly that astronomers think it threw off debris that finally created a moonlet. Dimorphos orbits its parent planet at a distance of less than a mile and is about 525 feet (160 metres) wide (1.2 kilometers).
Source: Indian Express