If a massive comet was headed straight toward the Earth, could we stop it in time to save humanity? It’s a theme that’s been explored in more than one Hollywood blockbuster, though we fare better in some movies than in others. Count “Don’t Look Up,” the most recent massive-impact thriller, as one of the more pessimistic takes on the subject.

Thankfully, scientists at NASA have been planning how to handle asteroid and comet impacts for years now. There are a few potential options for diverting hazardous Near-Earth Asteroids, like breaking them apart with nuclear weapons, using the gravity of another large object to pull them off course, or crashing a spacecraft into them.

If we do look up on September 26, we’ll have a chance to see that last technique put into practice. In November 2021, NASA sent a spacecraft to deep space to test a scenario: could we protect our planet from an asteroid impact? This space mission, named DART for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, is the first of its kind. On Monday night, September 26th, DART will arrive at its destination and help assess planetary protection measures by colliding with a small asteroid.

DART will impact a 160-meter-wide asteroid named Dimorphos, a moon of asteroid Didymos. Thanks to the global extent of the Unistellar network of citizen astronomers, the impact will be detectable and streamed live with a Unistellar eVscope, in partnership with the SETI Institute.

The impact will be visible from a narrow band on Earth, passing over Reunion Island, on the East coast of Africa. Patrice Huet, a local citizen astronomer from the Unistellar network, will attempt to detect and live stream his endeavor on Unistellar social networks, on September 26, 2022, at 7:14 p.m. EDT.

Watch the live here

Further readings