From The Verge:

Telescopes around the world (and a few in space!) are now turning their attention to the scene of the collision. They’ll be watching to see how much the impact changed the movement of Dimorphos. The crash is part of the first practical planetary defense experiment — a trial to see if humanity might one day be able to redirect the path of an asteroid headed toward our planet.


And, hopefully, not something that will be needed within my own lifetime. Watching the movie Armageddon is enough to satisfy my curiosity on how such an event might turn out.

This is how the path of this asteroid is expected to change. Certainly a case of “the smallest things” having outsized impacts.

Update 12 October 2022. This test was a success!

Per The Verge again:

When a spacecraft slammed into an asteroid last month, it pushed it closer to its companion and sped up its orbit by about 32 minutes. It’s a huge milestone for the field of planetary defense; it establishes that it may be possible for humans to significantly change the path of a potentially hazardous asteroid — especially if we have warning that one is on the way.

Great progress, but the bigger challenge looming is knowing what’s out there! Can’t hit what you can’t see. Reminds me of this scene from the movie Armageddon: