NASA’s DART asteroid collision is shown in newly released photos

Stunning images showing NASA’s DART spacecraft deliberately collided with an asteroid were released Tuesday.

The Italian Space Agency shared the first images captured by the tiny camera tracking the LICIACube – or Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging of Asteroids – spacecraft behind the vending machine-sized spacecraft.

The images were transmitted back to Earth about three hours after NASA’s successful impact with the asteroid Monday night during a test run, according to, seven million miles in preparation for when a massive space rock actually threatens Earth.

Images from Agenzia Spaziale Italiana show the asteroid before and after impact, with debris clouds surrounding the 530-foot-tall space rock called Dimorphos. A picture shows a brilliant flash of light as the spacecraft hit.

“We’re really very proud,” said Elisabetta Dotto, head of the science team at the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), during a press conference held in Italy on Tuesday.

The images are the first of several to be released in the coming days.

This combination of images obtained by NASA's Atlas Project at the University of Hawaii shows photos (LR before, during and after) of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) that struck asteroid Dimorphos on September 26, 2022.
The images show the asteroid Dimorphos before, during and after its collision with DART.
NASA/University of Hawaii/AFP via Getty Images

“Dimorphos is really completely covered by this emission of dust and debris generated by the impact,” Dotto said.

DART, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, crashed into Dimorphos at around 7:15 p.m. Monday night at 15,000 mph, destroying the vehicle as expected.

The spacecraft successfully knocked it out of its 12-hour orbit, scientists say.

A television at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida captures the final images of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) as it approaches asteroid Dimorphos (R), past asteroid Didymos (L).
It is expected that no known asteroid larger than 450 feet will hit Earth for the next 100 years.
AFP via Getty Images

According to, astronomers are now monitoring the Didymos asteroid system to measure how much Dimorphos’ orbit has accelerated.

“We still need a little patience, let the scientists speak to understand the value of these images,” says Giorgio Saccoccia, President of ASI, said Reporter.

The $325 million mission will likely only benefit future generations, as no known asteroid larger than 450 feet is expected to hit Earth in the next century, according to the Planetary Defense Coordination Office.

LICIACube, Italy’s first deep space mission, is now hurtling through deep space into oblivion while continuing to image Earth. NASA’s DART asteroid collision is shown in newly released photos


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