[meteorite-list] NASA Radar Spots Relatively Large Asteroid Prior to Flyby (2014 JO25)
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:16:16 -0700 (PDT)
NASA Radar Spots Relatively Large Asteroid Prior to Flyby
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
April 18, 2017
Radar images of asteroid 2014 JO25 were obtained in the early morning
hours on Tuesday, with NASA's 70-meter (230-foot) antenna at the Goldstone
Deep Space Communications Complex in California. The images reveal a peanut-shaped
asteroid that rotates about once every five hours. The images have resolutions
as fine as 25 feet (7.5 meters) per pixel.
Asteroid 2014 JO25 was discovered in May 2014 by astronomers at the Catalina
Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona -- a project of NASA's Near-Earth Objects
Observations Program in collaboration with the University of Arizona.
The asteroid will fly safely past Earth on Wednesday at a distance of
about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers), or about 4.6 times the
distance from Earth to the moon. The encounter is the closest the object
will have come to Earth in 400 years and will be its closest approach
for at least the next 500 years.
"The asteroid has a contact binary structure - two lobes connected by
a neck-like region," said Shantanu Naidu, a scientist from NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who led the Goldstone observations.
"The images show flat facets, concavities and angular topography."
The largest of the asteroid's two lobes is estimated to be 2,000 feet
(620 meters) across.
Radar observations of the asteroid also have been conducted at the National
Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Additional radar
observations are being conducted at both Goldstone and Arecibo on April
19 20, and 21, and could provide images with even higher resolution.
Radar has been used to observe hundreds of asteroids. When these small,
natural remnants of the formation of the solar system pass relatively
close to Earth, deep space radar is a powerful technique for studying
their sizes, shapes, rotation, surface features, and roughness, and for
more precise determination of their orbital path.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages and operates
NASA's Deep Space Network, including the Goldstone Solar System Radar,
and hosts the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies for NASA's Near-Earth
Object Observations Program within the agency's Science Mission Directorate.
More information about asteroids and near-Earth objects can be found at:
For more information about NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office,
For asteroid and comet news and updates, follow AsteroidWatch on Twitter:
News Media Contact
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
agle at jpl.nasa.gov
Received on Wed 19 Apr 2017 02:16:16 PM PDT