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A tumbling 1,100-foot-wide asteroid

Nereus tumbling on December 10th close approach
Click for full image.

Using the Goldstone radio antenna in California, scientists have been able to take some of the highest resolution radar images of the 1,100-foot-wide asteroid Nereus during its close approach to Earth on December 10, 2021.

The montage to the right, cropped to post here, shows twelve images from the 39-image sequence, which can also be viewed as an animation here.

During the asteroid’s close approach, an image resolution of about 12.3 feet (3.75 meters) per pixel was possible, revealing surface features such as potential boulders and craters, plus ridges and other topography. Asteroid Nereus’ previous approach in 2002 was near enough to Earth to reveal the asteroid’s size and overall shape, but too distant to show surface features. The new observations will also help scientists better understand the asteroid’s shape and rotation while providing them new data to further refine its orbital path around the Sun.

The asteroid will not make a similar close-approach again until 2060.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

5 comments

  • Lee Stevenson

    I have a question for those who understand radio astronomy better than myself.
    Would these images be captured “radar” style, by actively bouncing radio waves of the astroid?
    I actually don’t really understand imaging by radio astronomy in general, any reference to a good text based source where I can educate myself would be appreciated.

  • Jay

    Lee,
    Correct, this is Radar Astronomy. Places like the former Aericebo, Goldstone, and other radar sites, like the Deep Space Network, would transmit transmit anywhere from a few hundred kilowatts to over one Megawatt at microwave frequencies. The signal would hit the object, reflect the signal back, the same dish would receive the weak signal, the signal would go into preamps and signal processing to be outputted on a display. The computer does all the work. Here is a good introduction to Radar Astronomy.

    I am into ham radio, so working satellites and weak signal processing can be done by anyone. A lot of the equipment can be bought off the shelf for under $100, like I said the computer is doing all the work. Of course that is radio astronomy, you are only receiving radio signals. If you want to do radar astronomy, you need a lot of money for equipment and the power bill.

  • Lee S

    Thank you Jay!
    Unfortunately I cannot get the link to open, I’d be very pleased to have a read if you could post it again please.

  • Jay

    Sorry Lee,
    My bad, here is site again from National Academies Press: https://www.nap.edu/read/21729/chapter/8

    Also here is another one that describes both radio and radar astronomy: https://www.nap.edu/read/12410/chapter/5
    It is a dated document but the theories are still true.

  • Lee S

    Thank you Jay…. After a quick scan I’ve got some interesting Sunday reading!

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