Feeds

NASA uses new technique to snap high-res asteroid images

Read on for 3.5m resolution pics of Asteroid 2014 HQ124

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Video A recent upgrade at the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico has helped NASA capture high-res images of the asteroid 2014 HQ124, which passed fairly close by Earth last week.

The upgrade allowed the researchers to operate the 305-metre Arecibo in tandem with other radio telescopes to improve the resolution of a technique in which radar signals are sent from one instrument in the pair, to be received by the other.

In the case of 2014 HQ124, the 70 metre Goldstone Deep Space Network antenna was the anchor of the pairings, with the “other end” of the connection alternatively Arecibo and a nearby 34-metre antenna 32 kilometres from Goldstone.

As NASA explains here, the images show views of features as small as 3.75 metres wide just after the asteroid's nearest approach, 1.25 million kilometres away on June 8. The composite images were captured at distances between 1.39 million kilometres and 1.45 million kilometres.

Each image in the set represents about 10 minutes of data, and the top row of the collage (below), demonstrates that operating in tandem with Arecibo yields data “30 times brighter than what Goldstone can produce observing on its own”.

Asteroid 2014 HQ124

2014 HQ124. Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arecibo Observatory/USRA/NSF

NASA says 2014 HQ124 seems to be a “contact binary” – an asteroid with two distinct lobes, indicating that it may once have been two objects that came into shape. Its peanut-like shape is typical of about one-in-six asteroids in the near-Earth population, the agency says. ®

Youtube Video

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.