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NASA’s DART mission lofted a swarm of boulders into space

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When a probe smashed into a small asteroid last year, the collision did more than change the asteroid’s orbit — it blasted a few dozen hefty boulders into space too.

Last September, NASA steered the DART spacecraft into Dimorphos, a moonlet of the larger asteroid Didymos, to test a strategy for knocking any future Earth-bound asteroids off course (SN: 10/11/22). About three months after the impact, the Hubble Space Telescope spied a halo of 37 previously unseen objects accompanying the space rock duo in their orbit around the sun, researchers report in the July 21 Astrophysical Journal Letters.


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