Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Arecibo astronomers prepare to obtain close images of a near-Earth asteroid

29.01.2008
The Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico will observe a newly discovered asteroid on Jan. 27-28, as the object called 2007 TU24 passes within 1.4 lunar distances, or 334,000 miles, from Earth.

The asteroid, estimated at between 150 and 600 meters in diameter – about 500 feet to 1,900 feet, or the size of a football field, at 360 feet, to the size of Chicago’s 110-story Sears Tower, at 1,454 feet – was discovered by the University of Arizona’s Catalina Sky Survey in October 2007. It poses no threat to Earth, but its near approach gives Arecibo astronomers a golden opportunity to learn more about potentially hazardous near-Earth objects.

“We don’t yet know anything about this asteroid,” said Mike Nolan, head of radar astronomy at the Puerto Rico observatory. Such objects pass near Earth with relative frequency, he said – approximately one every five years or so – but it’s rare that astronomers have enough advance notice to plan for rigorous observing.

“Because it’s coming so close, we’ll get our highest quality imaging,” said Nolan.

Using Arecibo’s powerful radar, which is the most sensitive in the world, researchers will gauge the object’s size, observe its speed and measure its spin. Switching then to imaging mode, which will offer resolution to 7.5 meters – three times more precise than NASA’s Goldstone telescope, the only other radar telescope in the world – the researchers hope to map the object’s surface in detail. The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, Green Bank, W.Va., will receive Arecibo’s echo from the asteroid and transmit its data back to Arecibo.

TU2 is one of an estimated 7,000 near-Earth objects, its size or larger – most have never been closely studied.

“We have good images of a couple dozen objects like this, and for about one in 10, we see something we‘ve never seen before,” said Nolan. “We really haven’t sampled the population enough to know what’s out there.”

Arecibo’s radar is vital for continuing to classify and understand such objects, said Cornell University assistant professor of astronomy Jean-Luc Margot. “Arecibo does a fantastic job at getting images, discovering the shape, spin and reflection properties of such an object . . . all these things that are important to know.”

The telescope will be trained on TU24 Jan. 27-28 and again Feb. 1-4. Goldstone’s planetary radar observed it Jan. 23-24.

Blaine Friedlander | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Further Improvement of Qubit Lifetime for Quantum Computers
09.12.2016 | Forschungszentrum Jülich

nachricht Electron highway inside crystal
09.12.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>