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: NASA's IceCube no longer on ice

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

NASA's IceCube no longer on ice

35 minutes ago

NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has chosen a team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to build its first Earth science-related CubeSat mission.

Tidal forces gave moon its shape, according to new analysis

14 hours ago

The shape of the moon deviates from a simple sphere in ways that scientists have struggled to explain. A new study by researchers at UC Santa Cruz shows that most of the moon's overall shape can be explained by taking into ...

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