Sunday , January 29 2023

Tech: Holidai asteroid shot from NASA radar – (Report)


The approaching December 2018 with the large asteroid 2003 SD220 enabled astronomers to have the extraordinary ability to get detailed radar images of the surface and shape of the object and to improve the understanding of its orbit.

The asteroid will fly safely next to Earth on Saturday, December 22, at a distance of about 2.8 million kilometers. It will be the closest approach to the asteroid in more than 400 years, and the closest will be until 2070, when the asteroid will safely come closer to Earth.

Radar images reveal an asteroid of at least one mile (1.6 kilometers) in length and a shape similar to that exposed part of a nile horse that runs in the river. They were received from 15 to 17 December by coordinating observations with NASA's 70-meter antenna in the Goldstone Deep Space Complek complex in California, a green bank telescope on the west coast of the National Science Foundation, 330 meters long. Virginia and the Arecibo Observatory of 305 meters in Puerto Rico.

The Green Bank Telescope was a receiver for powerful microwave signals transmitted by either planetary radar in the arena of Goldstone or NASA in the so-called "bistable radar configuration". Using a single transmission telescope and another for receiving, you can get much more detail. than a single telescope, and this is an invaluable technique for obtaining radar images of close, slowly rotating asteroids such as this one.

"Radar images achieve an unprecedented level of detail and can be compared to those derived from aircraft flying," said Lance Benner of the Pasadena Rifle Laboratory in California, and a scientist who led observations from Goldstone. "The most prominent feature of the surface is a prominent ridge that looks like it wrapped around an asteroid near one end. The reef extends at about 330 feet [100 meters] above the surrounding terrain. There are many small bright spots in the data and can be reflections of stones. The images also show a group of dark, circular features near the right edge that can be craters.

The images confirm what was seen in earlier measurements of the "light curve" of solar radiation reflected by asteroids and earlier radar images by Arecibo: 2003 SD220 has an exceptionally light rotation period of about 12 days. It also has something that looks like a complex rotation that is somewhat analogous to a bad throw of football. Known as a rotation without a major axis, it is unusual in the asteroid near the Earth, most of which revolve around its shortest axis.

With a resolution of only 12 feet (3.7 meters) per pixel, the detail of these images is 20 times finer than the one obtained during the previous close-to-Earth asteroid three years ago, which was at a greater distance. New radar data will provide important constraints on the density distribution of the asteroid interior – information available on a very small number of asteroids near the Earth.

"This year, with our knowledge of the slow rotation of the SD220 2003, we managed to plan a large sequence of radar images using the largest radio telescopes in one country," said Patrick Tailor, a senior scientist at the University Space Research Association. USRA) at the Lunar and Planet Institute (LPI) in Houston.

"The new details we discovered up to the 2003 SD220 geology will enable us to reconstruct its shape and state of rotation, as it did with Bennu, the OSIRIS-REk mission," said Edgard Rivera-Valentin, USRA scientist in LPI. "A detailed reconstruction of the shape allows us to better understand how these small bodies formed and evolved over time."

Patrick Tailor was leading the radical observations with the Green Bank Observatory, the home of the Green Bank Telescope, the world's largest fully-functioning radio telescope. Rivera-Valentin will lead the reconstruction of the 2003 SD220 format and lead the Arecibo Observatory.

Asteroid 2003 SD220 was discovered on September 29, 2003 by astronomers from the Lovell-Object Observatory (LONEOS) in Flagstaff, a NASA-supported Earth Exploration Project (NEO). in the function of. It is classified as a "potentially dangerous asteroid" due to its size and close access to the Earth's orbit. However, these radar measurements further enhance the understanding of the SD220 orbit in 2003, confirming that it does not represent a future threat of impact on the Earth.

Planets of planetary radars Arecibo, Goldstone and USRA are funded through NASA's Earth Observation Program near the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), which manages the Planetary Defense Program of the Agency. Arecibo Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, which operates on the basis of a cooperation agreement between the University of Central Florida, Iang Enterprises and Universidad Metropolitan. GBO is an institution of the National Science Foundation, which operates on the basis of an agreement on the cooperation of Associate Universities, Inc.

JPL hosts the Earth Exploration Center (CNEOS) for NASA's Earth Observation Program

More information about CNEOS, asteroids, and objects near the Earth can be found at:

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For more information about NASA's Planetary Defense Coordinating Office, visit:

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More information on the Arecibo Observatory of the National Science Foundation can be found at:

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For news and updates of asteroids and comets, follow the AsteroidVatch on Twitter: / AsteroidVatch

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