Where is Asteroid Didymos? Track live*!

Didymos is an asteroid of nearly a kilometer wide orbiting between Earth and Mars at --,--- (--,---, --). It is the target of NASA and ESA's combined Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission, which is designed to study and demonstrate our ability to change the course of an asteroid on collision course with Earth. The ESA contribution to the mission is called the HERA asteroid mission and was approved late 2019. Didymos has a little moon called 'Didymoon' which is about 160m in diameter.

Where is Asteroid Didymos now?

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Didymos circles the sun in an large orbit that occasionally crosses Earth's. Currently it's --,---,--- (--,---,---) from us, getting - (-) closer to us every second. It flies past Earth at an incredible speed, at ---,--- (--,---) . Earth has infrequent encounters with this asteroid and its orbit is currently not classified as a collision risk.

Since last night Didymos is 531,068 km (331,917 mi) closer to us. Since you started looking at this page it is 0 km (0 mi) closer.

NASA and ESA are currently planning to deflect the smaller body of Didymos using a spacecraft called DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test). It will crash into the asteroid in September 2022 at about 15,000 mph. This is called the Kinetic Impactor technique to change an asteroid's trajectory. With the spacecraft will fly an Italian cubesat called LICIACube, which will observe the impact. ESA's Hera will arrive later to study the aftermath of the collision. Hera has two briefcase-sized cubesats that will get close to the asteroid like drones.

Asteroid 65803 Didymos 65803 Didymos asteroid and its moonlet binary 65803 Didymos asteroid and its moonlet binary radar DART spacecraft that will impact asteroid Didymos (1996 GT)

The planetary defense missions will also serve as a validation of new technologies such as deep space CubeSats, inter-satellite links, autonomous image-based navigation techniques and low-gravity operations.

Will it hit or miss Earth?

Minor planet number 65803 won't come near us until 2123.

The first time the asteroid was discovered as it flew past earth was in the year 1996. It was initially designated 1996GT. After that 65803 Didymos approached earth again in 2003, at a distance of about 7 million km. It is part of both the Apollo and Amor family of asteroids.

This website makes use of data provided by NASA JPL HORIZONS database for solar system objects and International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center.

Photo Credit and other: NASA, ESO/S. Brunier, NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI, NASA/JPL-Caltech, UH/IA
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Data provided by NASA/JPL CNEOS

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