The colors are different but the show is the same: here is finally a comparison of the images of the collision between the Dart probe and the asteroid Dimorphos taken by the two most important space telescopes, Hubble and James Webb, used for the first time together to observe the same celestial object.
The data collected will allow us to better understand the surface of the asteroid, the amount of material ejected during the impact and its speed.
Furthermore, the observations made in different wavelengths will allow us to study the distribution of particles in the dust cloud, in order to understand whether large blocks of material or especially fine dust have been expelled.
All of this information will help researchers determine whether the collision was effective in diverting the asteroid's path.
The Webb telescope, from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), took an image before the collision and then followed the event for five hours, obtaining a total of ten images.
The observations, made in infrared with the NIRCam instrument, show the compact body of the asteroid from which plumes of material raised by the impact branch off.
The Hubble telescope of NASA and ESA also conducted several observations in the visible spectrum before the collision and 15 minutes after, obtaining a total of 45 images characterized by the blue color.
Also in this case we see the body of the asteroid emitting plumes of material.
According to the astronomers, the brightness of the pair of asteroids Didymos and Dimorphos would have tripled after the impact, remaining high over time, even eight hours later.