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Ejecta evolution following a planned impact into an asteroid: the first five weeks

Kareta, Theodore, Thomas, Cristina, Li, Jian-Yang, Knight, Matthew M., Moskovitz, Nicholas, Rożek, Agata, Bannister, Michele T., Ieva, Simone, Snodgrass, Colin, Pravec, Petr, Ryan, Eileen V., Ryan, William H., Fahnestock, Eugene G., Rivkin, Andrew S., Chabot, Nancy, Fitzsimmons, Alan, Osip, David, Lister, Tim, Sarid, Gal, Hirabayashi, Masatoshi, Farnham, Tony, Tancredi, Gonzalo, Michel, Patrick, Wainscoat, Richard, Weryk, Rob, Burrati, Bonnie, Pittichová, Jana, Ridden-Harper, Ryan, Tan, Nicole J., Tristram, Paul, Brown, Tyler, Bonavita, Mariangela, Burgdorf, Martin, Khalouei, Elahe, Longa, Penelope, Rabus, Markus, Sajadian, Sedighe, Jorgensen, Uffe Graae, Dominik, Martin, Kikwaya, Jean-Baptiste, Epifani, Elena Mazzotta, Dotto, Elisabetta, Deshapriya, Prasanna, Hasselmann, Pedro, Dall’Ora, Massimo, Abe, Lyu, Guillot, Tristan, Mékarnia, Djamel, Agabi, Abdelkrim, Bendjoya, Philippe, Suarez, Olga, Triaud, Amaury, Gasparetto, Thomas, Günther, Maximillian N., Kueppers, Michael, Merin, Bruno, Chatelain, Joseph, Gomez, Edward, Usher, Helen, Stoddard-Jones, Cai, Bartnik, Matthew, Bellaver, Michael, Chetan, Brenna, Dugan, Emma, Fallon, Tori, Fedewa, Jeremy, Gerhard, Caitlyn, Jacobson, Seth A., Painter, Shane, Peterson, David-Michael, Rodriguez, Joseph E., Smith, Cody, Sokolovsky, Kirill V., Sullivan, Hannah, Townley, Kate, Watson, Sarah, Webb, Levi, Trigo-Rodríguez, Josep M., Llenas, Josep M., Pérez-García, Ignacio, Castro-Tirado, A. J., Vincent, Jean-Baptiste, Migliorini, Alessandra, Lazzarin, Monica, La Forgia, Fiorangela, Ferrari, Fabio, Polakis, Tom and Skiff, Brian 2023. Ejecta evolution following a planned impact into an asteroid: the first five weeks. Astrophysical Journal Letters 959 , L12. 10.3847/2041-8213/ad0fdd

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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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: cc-by
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
ISSN: 2041-8205
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 December 2023
Date of Acceptance: 16 October 2023
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2023 11:00

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