Asteroid Dimorphos from DART, I stacked pre-collision video images, giving highest resolution at center impact site (4 megapixel)

  1. Almost looks like the tilt shift effect. Looks like a bunch of mini pebbles making one large rock. I get that's what an Asteroid is, but this image makes it look like the tip of my pencil

  2. Yep. gravity pulls space rocks together. Amass enough pebbles and dust and you get a small rocky planetoid. Once the mass is high enough, it becomes spherical, as the core/center of gravity exerts an equal force throughout.

  3. So my significant other is part of the DART team, and was VERY impressed with your image when I pulled up your post. They're actually wishing that APL had thought to create a composite like this for the actual live event today. Amazing job!

  4. Now imagine what they could do with raw sensor pixels and instrument darks and flats, telemetry range info, FOV and distortion correction...instead of YouTube screenshots.

  5. Dimorphos is about 170 metres across. I don't know if that's at its widest or narrowest diameter, but that should be enough to visualise the size.

  6. According to a scientist on the NasaSpaceFlight stream, the highest resolution pixels are 10 or so centimeters across. It could be a factor of 2 off in either direction depending on how close the last frame was. I’ll let somebody else translate pixels to boulders.

  7. Kind of cool how it makes the impact site appear in focus. It kind of gives it a tilt-shift effect and makes the whole thing look tiny. If you told me I was looking at a blood cell under an electron microscope, I would probably believe you.

  8. All mass has an attractive force to other mass. They are clingy because no outside force has acted on them (until now), and they are not within the influence or orbit of a planet. Objects have a Hill sphere, which describes the radius where they can capture their own moons vs other interlopers taking them (for example, a dropped screwdriver won't orbit the ISS, because it is close to Earth). This is the smaller of a gravitationally-bound pair of asteroids, which makes it even more curious, and one that comes almost as close as Earth to the Sun at perihelion.

  9. Yes. Every object with mass, even a small rock, has its own microgravity in space. Ergo, this is how the planets formed. Small rocks held together by the force of their individual microgravity, coalescing into larger objects like Dimorphus and repeat.

  10. Nice pic. Watched as this live and I got goosebumps. I'll never get tired of watching this type of stuff.

  11. This one looks so crumbly. Usually they're smoother (then again I'm probably too used to seeing "renders" of them that look like weather-worn sandstones with a few big craters in them) but it's literally just a pile of rocks with no bottom. Barely even looks like a single, solid object. And now I wanna stand on it, pick one of the rocks up and throw it.

  12. Small ones are very crumbly, yes. If you tried to throw a rock while standing on it, you would get flunged in the opposite direction. Perhaps even leaving the thing. It's a very small object. We would not experience feeling of "down" on it, we could just float next to it like we float next to the ISS.

  13. When the camera got closer and details cleared up, my mouth was open the whole time. We've always been shown smooth asteroids in space. This one was very much the opposite. I was in awe.

  14. It weird how it makes it look like a miniature because it's more focused in the middle because it was closer when it took that part of the photo.

  15. If I'm doing my math approximately right, the length is about 2 football fields which would make some of the larger rocks on it about the size of a car.


  17. Just incredible that we not only can see these things, but someone is able to do math to calculate the parameters to hit the friggin thing!!!

  18. If I had to guess what an asteroid looked up close, I would never have imagined this appearance. It's like a collection of house-sized boulders concreted into a mass.

  19. Same. I'm starting to think only the biggest ones have the traditional "cratered" look to them and all smaller ones like this are probably more reminiscent of piles of the sharp grey rocks they use on train tracks.

  20. I was thinking a Ferrero Rocher. Had the last one in my box this evening and was thinking of this thing. Even slowly moved it towards my eye pretending I was seeing what this satellite did lol.

  21. Has anybody said yet what the bright spot at the bottom left is? It appears the sun is coming from the right so how does the dark side have a bright spot?

  22. It looks like a big rock sitting on the shadowed side of the asteroid and its sticking out far enough to still be capturing the light from the sun while everything below it is in shadow. Like a really tall cliff or mountain at sunset.

  23. It's cool to think about how they hit something the size of a football stadium millions of miles away that is moving 15 times faster than a bullet with something that was moving 17 times faster than a bullet.

  24. This I just did in Photoshop, because of the uniqueness of the source. Crank the working resolution way up. Capture each new video frame as a layer after the MP4 b-frame interval cleans up artifacting. Then by changing the layer visibility and opacity, build one layer at time, and by using subtract and difference, you can get things aligned and sized correctly to 1/4 pix by observing when one layer subtracted from the other makes the image completely disappear. Repeat seven more times, tweak histograms, delete borders, feather erase to blend, sharpen the blurry and blur the sharp, etc.

  25. I finally have a imagination of what the surface of an asteroid really looks like, thanks to this footage.

  26. Either this is a diorama, or the people who make dioramas are more accurate to real life than they thought.

  27. Seeing these photos and the one stabilized shot I saw it just keeps putting the MST3K music in my head because something about it just looks like the one shot of the moon/asteroid with the title on it.

  28. The only way it wouldn't is if the spacecraft had missed. The new orbit is the result of the original momentums, although some of that energy may have gone into knocking off rocks at high speed or imparting a new rotation.

  29. That is some extremely awesome post-processing, and also that asteroid looks like its been rolled in cat litter...

  30. Would love the stacked image without any blur effect added, then I can throw it into an AI upscaler and really enjoy some asteroid porn.

  31. The "blur effect" is that the outermost area is from early, when the full asteroid fit within the sensor, via a stream with the spacecraft video not taking the full screen.

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