NASA’s DART mission impact – an excellent opportunity to host your next event!

NASA’s DART mission impact – an excellent opportunity to host your next event!

NASA’s DART mission impact – an excellent opportunity to host your next event! https://asteroidday-uploads.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/12210219/9.png 500 333 Asteroid Day Asteroid Day https://asteroidday-uploads.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/12210219/9.png

We will soon witness humanity’s first attempt to change the speed and motion of an asteroid in space thanks to NASA’s DART mission. Launched in 2021, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft is heading towards Dimorphos, the small moon orbiting the asteroid Didymos, to impact it in late September. It will be the first test of an asteroid deflection method that could prove useful in the future.

The impact is scheduled for 7:14 p.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 26 and will be streamed live on NASA TV. To get the most up-to-date information on where to watch and when, visit nasa.gov/planetarydefense/dart/dart-news and confirm the impact time in your location.

Watch the DART mission launch

Host a Watch Party – Organize a DART Impact Party and bring your community together and witness this historic moment. NASA’s live coverage will begin at 6 p.m. ET. Consider gathering people of all ages at a local school, museum, pub to watch the impact coverage. This is an opportunity to really get people excited by the topic – here are some ideas for DART themed drinks and asteroid bites! Can’t get out of the house that day? Host a watch party from your home computer and do your own commentary via Twitch TV or YouTube. Invite the public to write in with their own questions to make the event more interactive.

Presentation of the DART mission

Want to plan more? Check out these other great event ideas:

Lectures and conferences – Take a moment to explain the details and objectives of the DART mission, especially the deflection method that will be used. This lesson mentions other methods that you can also use to encourage your audience to discuss feasibility and technologies to make them possible.

DART is the first part of a planetary defense study. The European Space Agency’s Hera mission, scheduled to launch in 2024, will be a follow up mission to DART to investigate the results of the DART impact.

Consider asking your audience to speculate what Hera mission will find in Dimorphos in the future? Will this asteroid be intact as before? Will there really be a change in the asteroid’s motion because of the DART impact? Will there be a radical change on its surface, expelling much more material into space than expected?

Exhibition of 3D-printed asteroid models, including Didymos and its tiny moon Dimorphos (University of Alicante)

Exhibitions – Visit the DART mission official webpage to gather probe parts for 3D printing and set up your own exhibition. Try to diversify the exhibits by including other probes that were part of historic asteroid exploration missions such as NEAR Shoemaker, Hayabusa 1 and 2 or the OSIRIS-Rex mission. Here you can find how to create paper models of these missions and more.

Workshops – The shape of Dimorphos is not yet completely known. To unravel this, the DART probe will have DRACO and LICIACube, accessories that will capture images of the asteroid in addition to the impact event and its effects. Organize a clay modeling activity where the public and try to make molds of what they think Dimorphos will look like. Compare the clay asteroids to the first images and see which model is most realistic.

Images from workshops on asteroid shapes organized at the Asteroid Day 2022 edition in Colombia and Chile (GCPA/Bogotá Planetarium, UDEC/Corporación Educacional Instituto San Pedro and Pueblito de Las Vizcachas)

Don’t forget to register your event and be sure to report this historic moment!