“Nuclear bombs. That’s the go-to answer for incoming space objects like asteroids and comets, as far as Hollywood is concerned. Movies like Deep Impact and Armageddon rely on nukes, delivered by stars like Bruce Willis, to save the world and deliver the drama.
“But planetary defense experts say in reality, if astronomers spotted a dangerous incoming space rock, the safest and best answer might be something more subtle, like simply pushing it off course by ramming it with a small spacecraft.
“That’s just what NASA did on Monday evening, when a spacecraft headed straight into an asteroid, obliterating itself.
“In images streamed as the impact neared, the egg-shaped asteroid, called Dimorphos, grew in size from a blip on screen to have its full rocky surface come quickly into focus before the signal went dead as the craft hit, right on target.”
Read more at NPR