Moment NASA spacecraft crashed into asteroid captured by telescopes

The moment a NASA spacecraft crashed into an asteroid at hypersonic speed was captured by observatories back on Earth.

Pictures from telescopes show the galactic collision playing out seven million miles away.

The Dart (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) probe hurtled into the asteroid Dimorphos as part of the first-ever trial of a "planetary defence system".

Scientists are trying to see if the crash altered the orbit of the asteroid - something that could come in handy if humanity is to one day avoid a similar fate to the dinosaurs.

It will take months to find out if the experiment work, as observatories on Earth track Dimorphos and its larger parent asteroid as they circle their sun.

However, images of the collision have already surfaced on social media.

A clip posted by ATLAS Project (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System) in Hawaii appears to show Dart's final moments as it impacts with Dimorphos.

Another posted by Tim Lister from Las Cumbres Observatory shows a similar scene, with a bright light seen and then what looks like dust.