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Planetary Radio Extra: Shining a Million Watt Flashlight on an Asteroid

Near Earth Asteroid 2000 ET70 gravity map from Arecibo

Air Date: 06/28/2016
Run Time: 19:35

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  • Adam Greenberg, Graduate Student, UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy, Division of Physical Sciences

Topics: near-Earth asteroids, radio telescopes, asteroids, Planetary Radio, radar imaging

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PlanRad’s celebration of Asteroid Day (June 30th) continues as we call UCLA grad student Adam Greenberg at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Under the direction of Professor Jean-Luc Margot, Adam is using the 305 meter/1,000 foot-wide dish to bounce radar pulses off a Near Earth Asteroid known as 2010 NY65. No other technique or tool for investigating asteroids offers the revelatory power of radar. And yet the Arecibo Observatory is in danger of losing its funding for this and all other research.

False color gravity map of Near Earth Asteroid 2000 ET70, from radar observations
False color gravity map of Near Earth Asteroid 2000 ET70, from radar observations
From S. P. Naidu, J. L. Margot, M. W. Busch, P. A. Taylor, M. C. Nolan, M. Brozovic, L. A. M. Benner, J. D. Giorgini, C. Magri. Radar Imaging and Physical Characterization of Near-Earth Asteroid (162421) 2000 ET70. Icarus 226, 323, 2013.

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