Ejecta Evolution Following a Planned Impact into an Asteroid: The First Five Weeks

Theodore Kareta*, Cristina Thomas, Jian-Yang Li, Matthew M. Knight, N Moskovitz, Agata Rozek, Michele T. Bannister, Simone Ieva, Colin Snodgrass, Petr Pravec, Eileen V. Ryan, William H. Ryan, Eygene G. Fahnestock, Andrew S. Rivkin, Nancy Chabot, Alan Fitzsimmons, David Osip, Tim Lister, Gal Sarid, Masatoshi HirabayashiTony Farnham, Gonzalo Tancredi, Patrick Michel, Richard Wainscoat, Rob Weryk, Bonnie Burrati, Jana Pittichova, Ryan Ridden-Harper, Nicole J. Tan, Paul Tristram, Tyler Brown, Mariangela Bonavita, Martin Burgdorf, Elahe Khalouei, Penelope Longa, Markus Rabus, Sedighe Sajadian, Uffe Graae Jorgensen, Martin Dominik, Jean-Baptiste Kikwaya, Elena Mazzotta Epifani, Elisabetta Dotto, Prasanna Deshapriya, Pedro Hasselmann, Massimo Dall'Ora, Lyu Abe, Tristan Guillot, Djamel Mekarnia, Abdelkrim Agabi, Philippe Bendjoya, Olga Suarez, Amaury Triaud, Thomas Gasparetto, Maximillian N. Guenther, Michael Kueppers, Bruno Merin, Joseph Chatelain, Edward Gomez, Helen Usher, Cai Stoddard-Jones, Matthew Bartnik, Michael Bellaver, Brenna Chetan, Emma Dugan, Tori Fallon, Jeremy Fedewa, Caitlyn Gerhard, Seth A. Jacobson, Shane Painter, David-Michael Peterson, Joseph E. Rodriguez, Cody Smith, Kirill V. Sokolovsky, Hannah Sullivan, Kate Townley, Sarah Watson, Levi Webb, Joseph M. Trigo-Rodriguez, Josep M. Llenas, Ignacio Perez-Garcia, A. J. Castro-Tirado, Jean-Baptiste Vincent, Alessandra Migliorini, Monica Lazzarin, Fiorangela La Forgia, Fabio Ferrari, Tom Polakis, Brian Skiff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The impact of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft into Dimorphos, moon of the asteroid Didymos, changed Dimorphos's orbit substantially, largely from the ejection of material. We present results from 12 Earth-based facilities involved in a world-wide campaign to monitor the brightness and morphology of the ejecta in the first 35 days after impact. After an initial brightening of ∼1.4 mag, we find consistent dimming rates of 0.11–0.12 mag day−1 in the first week, and 0.08–0.09 mag day−1 over the entire study period. The system returned to its pre-impact brightness 24.3–25.3 days after impact though the primary ejecta tail remained. The dimming paused briefly eight days after impact, near in time to the appearance of the second tail. This was likely due to a secondary release of material after re-impact of a boulder released in the initial impact, though movement of the primary ejecta through the aperture likely played a role.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL12
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • III.


Dive into the research topics of 'Ejecta Evolution Following a Planned Impact into an Asteroid: The First Five Weeks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this