Nine radar images of asteroid 2007 PA8

Nov 27, 2012 by Dc Agle
Nine new radar images of near-Earth asteroid 2012 PA8 were obtained between Oct. 31 and Nov. 13, 2012, with data collected by NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(Phys.org)—A collage shows nine radar images of near-Earth asteroid 2007 PA8 that were obtained between Oct. 31 and Nov. 13, 2012, with data collected by NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif. On Nov. 5 at 8:42 a.m. PST (11:42 a.m. EST/16:42 UTC), the object came about 4 million miles (6.5 million kilometers) from Earth, or 17 times the distance between Earth and the moon.

The images of 2007 PA8 reveal possible craters, boulders, an irregular, asymmetric shape, and very slow rotation. The asteroid measures approximately one mile wide (about 1.6 kilometers).

Each panel shows one image per day, and all of them are oriented so rotation is counterclockwise. Each image is shown at the same scale and covers 1.1 miles (1.7 kilometers) from top to bottom. The resolution of the images varies from day to day as the asteroid's distance changed. The images achieve resolutions as fine as 12 feet (3.75 meters) per pixel on Nov. 5 and 6, when the asteroid was closest. The resolution was 25 feet (7.5 meters) per pixel on Nov. 2, 3 and 8, and 62 feet (18.75 meters) per pixel on Oct. 31 and Nov. 11 to 13.

New of 2007 PA8's distance and line-of-sight velocity refined calculations of its about the sun, enabling reliable computation of the asteroid's motion for the next 632 years. 2007 PA8 is not a threat to Earth. The 2012 flyby was the closest since 1880. The next with Earth closer than the one that occurred this year will be in 2488, when the asteroid will approach no closer than 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers).

NASA detects, tracks and characterizes asteroids and comets passing close to Earth using both ground- and space-based telescopes. The Near-Earth Object Observations Program, commonly called "Spaceguard," discovers these objects, characterizes a subset of them, and plots their orbits to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet.

Explore further: Rosetta's comet: In the shadow of the coma

Related Stories

NASA radar images asteroid 2007 PA8

Nov 06, 2012

(Phys.org)—Scientists working with NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., have obtained several radar images depicting near-Earth asteroid 2007 PA8. The images ...

NASA in final preparations for Nov. 8 asteroid flyby

Oct 27, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA scientists will be tracking asteroid 2005 YU55 with antennas of the agency's Deep Space Network at Goldstone, Calif., as the space rock safely flies past Earth slightly closer than the ...

NASA releases radar movie of asteroid 2005 YU55

Nov 09, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists working with the 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., have generated a short movie clip of asteroid 2005 YU55. The images were generated from ...

Asteroid to Make Rare Close Flyby of Earth

Jan 24, 2008

Scientists are monitoring the orbit of asteroid 2007 TU24. The asteroid, believed to be between 150 meters (500 feet) and 610 meters (2,000 feet) in size, is expected to fly past Earth on Jan. 29, with its ...

Small asteroid to pass within Earth-Moon system Tuesday

Oct 11, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A small asteroid will fly past Earth early Tuesday within the Earth-moon system. The asteroid, 2010 TD54, will have its closest approach to Earth's surface at an altitude of about 45,000 kilometers ...

Recommended for you

Bad weather delays Japan asteroid probe lift off

3 hours ago

Bad weather will delay the launch of a Japanese space probe on a six-year mission to mine a distant asteroid, just weeks after a European spacecraft's historic landing on a comet captivated the world.

Manchester scientists boost NASA's missions to Mars

12 hours ago

Computer Scientists from The University of Manchester have boosted NASA space missions by pioneering a global project to develop programs that efficiently test and control NASA spacecraft.

ESA image: The gold standard

12 hours ago

The Eutelsat-9B satellite with its EDRS-A payload is shown in the anechoic test chamber of Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, having completed its final antenna pattern tests today.

Frost-covered chaos on Mars

12 hours ago

Thanks to a break in the dusty 'weather' over the giant Hellas Basin at the beginning of this year, ESA's Mars Express was able to look down into the seven kilometre-deep basin and onto the frosty surface ...

Rosetta's comet: In the shadow of the coma

19 hours ago

This NAVCAM mosaic comprises four individual images taken on 20 November from a distance of 30.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/C-G. The image resolution is 2.6 m/pixel, so each original 1024 x 1024 pixel ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sonhouse
5 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2012
Not bad for a radio telescope! Or ANY telescope!, resolution about 0.0001 arc second, 100 MICRO arc seconds! A LOT better than hubble and radio frequencies. Wonder what frequency the radar pulse was? My guess, 10 gigahertz.
james_anthoney_716
not rated yet Dec 28, 2012
Wow! Awesome post and pics.
hotbusiness.biz instalhost.com fizba.com bagdk.com newmusicvideo.org

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.