Not scared enough, yet? Check this out!
 - Mitchel


Asteroid and Comet Watch


November 11, 2011
(see link for video)

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA scientists working with the 230-foot-wide
(70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., have
released a second, longer, and more refined, movie clip of asteroid
2005 YU55.  The images were generated from data collected at Goldstone
on Nov. 7, 2011, between 11:24 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. PST (2:24 p.m. and
4:35 p.m. EST).

The movie clip can be found at: .

Each of the 28 frames required 20 minutes of data collection by the
Goldstone radar.  At the time of the observations, 2005 YU55 was
approximately 860,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers) from Earth.  The
resolution is about 13 feet (4 meters) per pixel.  2005 YU55 takes
approximately 18 hours to complete one rotation, so the rotation in
the movie appears much more rapid than the actual asteroid rotation

The Goldstone observations utilized a new system to obtain images with
a resolution of 4 meters, which is five times finer than the highest
resolution previously possible at Goldstone.

"The encounter with 2005 YU55 has produced an enormous amount of data
that is still being processed." said radar astronomer Lance Benner,
the principal investigator for the 2005 YU55 Goldstone observations,
from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.  "The
sequence of images we obtained shows unprecedented fine-scale detail
on this asteroid, which is comparable in size to the Empire State
Building.  The Goldstone images show evidence for concavities, a ridge
near the asteroid's equator, and numerous features that may be large

The trajectory of asteroid 2005 YU55 is well understood.  Although the
asteroid is in an orbit that regularly brings it to the vicinity of
Earth, (and Venus and Mars), 2005 YU55's 2011 encounter with Earth was
the closest for at least the last 200 years.  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.

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.

More information about asteroids and near-Earth objects is at: and via Twitter at . More information about asteroid
radar research is at: . More information
about the Deep Space Network is at:

D.C. Agle 818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
[log in to unmask]

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington
[log in to unmask]

Ring the bells that still can ring,  Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in. 
~ Leonard Cohen