The presentation, “Photometric observations of Didymos asteroid system before the impact: Using robotic telescopes, open datasets, and maths” would cover observations taken prior to 26 September 2022. Everyone is welcome to view the presentation live online at: https://www.youtube.com/rasctoronto/live interact with speakers and ask questions. It will also be recorded and become available for later viewing.
On 26 September 2022, 7:14 p.m. EDT, the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission successfully impacted Dimorphos – the moonlet of Didymos as a part of its first planetary defense technology demonstration. I have been following the DART mission for the past year, learning more about the project goals, how they plan to achieve them, and evaluating if the mission is a success. It has allowed me to explore how citizen scientists can contribute to this project.
The asteroid moonlet Dimorphos is 160 meters in diameter and orbits the asteroid Didymos, which is 780-meter in diameter. Neither of them poses a threat to Earth. Understanding the dynamics of the asteroid system namely the orbital period of the moonlet prior to the impact will serve as a baseline against which to measure the outcomes of the DART’s impact. The current orbital period of the satellite (P orb) is 11.92 hours.
If DART succeeds in altering Dimorphos’ path, the moonlet will move closer toward Didymos, shortening the time it takes to orbit it. Researchers expect the kinetic impact on Dimorphos to shorten its orbit by about 1%, or roughly 10 minutes. One of the primary goals of this planetary defense test mission is to precisely measure how much the asteroid deflected. It will provide essential data should a real planetary defense mission be needed in future to prevent an asteroid from colliding with Earth.
Best of the Fair Award and Gold Medal, Canada Wide Science Fair 2022. RISE 100 Global Winner, Silver Medal, International Science and Engineering Fair 2022, Gold Medal, Canada Wide Science Fair 2021, NASA SpaceApps Global 2020, Gold Medalist – IRIC North American Science Fair 2020, BMT Global Home STEM Challenge 2020. Micro:bit Challenge North America Runners Up 2020. NASA SpaceApps Toronto 2019, 2018, 2017, 2014. Imagining the Skies Award 2019. Jesse Ketchum Astronomy Award 2018. Hon. Mention at 2019 NASA Planetary Defense Conference. Emerald Code Grand Prize 2018. Canadian Space Apps 2017.
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