Radar images of near-Earth asteroid 2006 DP14

Radar Images of near-Earth Asteroid 2006 DP14
This image is one frame from a collage of radar images taken on Feb. 11, 2014, of near-Earth asteroid 2006 DP 14, which is about 1,300 feet (400 meters) long. The imaging used the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., while the asteroid was about 11 times farther from Earth than the moon is. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR

A collage of radar images of near-Earth asteroid 2006 DP14 was generated by NASA scientists using the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., on the night of Feb. 11, 2014.

Delay-Doppler radar imaging revealed that the is about 1,300 feet (400 meters) long, 660 feet (200 meters) wide, and shaped somewhat like a big peanut. The asteroid's period of rotation is about six hours. The asteroid is of a type known as a "contact binary" because it has two large lobes on either end that appear to be in contact. Previous radar data from Goldstone and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has shown that at least 10 percent of near-Earth asteroids larger than about 650 feet (200 meters) have contact binary shapes like that of 2006 DP14. The data were obtained over an interval of 2.5 hours as the asteroid completed about half a revolution. The resolution is about 60 feet (19 meters) per pixel.

The data were obtained on Feb. 11 between 9:03 a.m. and 11:27 p.m. PST (12:03 a.m. to 2:27 a.m. EST on Feb. 12). At the time of the observations, the asteroid's distance was about 2.6 million miles (4.2 million kilometers) from Earth. That is about 11 times the average distance between Earth and its moon. The asteroid's closest approach to Earth occurred on Feb. 10, at a distance of about 1.5 million miles (2.4 million kilometers).

Radar is a powerful technique for studying an asteroid's size, shape, rotation state, surface features and surface roughness, and for improving the calculation of asteroid orbits. Radar measurements of asteroid distances and velocities often enable computation of asteroid orbits much further into the future than if radar observations weren't available.

NASA places a high priority on tracking asteroids and protecting our home planet from them. In fact, the United States has the most robust and productive survey and detection program for discovering near-Earth objects. To date, U.S. assets have discovered more than 98 percent of the known near-Earth objects.

In addition to the resources NASA puts into understanding asteroids, it also partners with other U.S. government agencies, university-based astronomers, and space science institutes across the country that are working to track and understand these objects better, often with grants, interagency transfers and other contracts from NASA.

NASA's Near-Earth Object Program at NASA Headquarters, Washington, manages and funds the search, study and monitoring of asteroids and comets whose orbits periodically bring them close to Earth. JPL manages the Near-Earth Object Program Office for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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Citation: Radar images of near-Earth asteroid 2006 DP14 (2014, February 26) retrieved 19 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-02-radar-images-near-earth-asteroid-dp14.html
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Feb 27, 2014
Ok so they spot a big one coming straight in and then what?

At least we could build some kind of time capsule monument type thing, so that if anyone ever discovers our remains, we might be able to let them know what happened to us.

Seriously though, if it was a really big one, there wouldn't be much anyone could do, but a medium sized one maybe we could. Depending on what direction it was coming from and how much time we had, there's always a few rockets in the pipeline that could be launched in a relatively short period of time, in an emergency.

Actually building some kind of interceptor rocket ahead of time would almost certainly be a wasted effort. Without knowing specifics about what you would need, you'd almost certainly have to build something at the last minute anyway. Different trajectories and such will radically change the type of interceptor you would want to build. You almost have no choice but to wait until you discover a threat before you know what to build.

Feb 27, 2014
While some 18,000 nuclear weapons sit around ticking away... in their silos, in their bunkers and in their launchers... doing nothing.
No ICBM's being modified for deep space, long range missions - like to Marrs and beyond

@Lex Talonis
well, there is no guarantee that just hitting an asteroid with a nuke (or even multiple nukes) would prevent said asteroid from hitting Earth, for starters.
read up a little more. this article is interesting:


What a bullshit trip NASA and the rest of the wankers are

this comment, however, is personal conjecture and only goes to show your ignorance

should you wish to spout opinion, perhaps you should start a blog? this is a science site, if you are going to make a comment, either do the math or provide empirical data.

Feb 27, 2014
no guarantee that just hitting an asteroid with a nuke (or even multiple nukes)

Besides that, nukes aren't really very effective in space. Most of the energy of a nuke is delivered in the form of visible light. That works fine in the Earth's atmosphere, where it creates a shock wave of air pressure, but wouldn't do much in space. Ever seen how a hydrogen bomb will peel paint off things like ships in the blast zone, and burn shadows into background objects, but leave things like swing sets in one piece? I don't think scorching one side of an asteroid is likely to do much to change its trajectory. Maybe you could somehow light off the nuke in a confined space, and thereby launch an impactor or use a penetrator to get it inside the asteroid before it detonates? The trick is that you're looking for inertia transfer, and a nuke wastes too much of its energy into empty space.

Feb 27, 2014
The reason why I am the brightest scientist in the entire history of our species, is because I know how to destroy asteroids with nukes - especially the big ones and your don't.

So shut your idiot face

@Lex Talonis
until you can provide empirical data backing up this claim, there is no reason to assume that you are anything but a SPAMMING TROLL looking for a cheap thrill by acting the moron on a science site.

What are you, 12?
And yes? Protecting us with WHAT?

they are attempting to develop new technology
here is just ONE link... https://en.wikipe..._tractor

they've been publishing articles on Phys.org since AT LEAST 2009 on possible ways to protect earth...

either do some homework and provide links/proof to support your stance or we are going to tell your mom to take your internet away.

Feb 27, 2014
What a bullshit trip NASA and the rest of the wankers are.

Feb 27, 2014
What a bullshit trip NASA and the rest of the wankers are.


link didnt work

trying to post this one?



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