NASA radar transmits image of 500-meter near-Earth asteroid 2011 AG5
Scientists obtained a radar image of the near-Earth asteroid 2011 AG5. It is reported by NASA .
2011 AG5 belongs to the group of near-Earth asteroids. On February 3, it passed the Earth at a distance of 1.8 million kilometers, which is about 5 times the distance between the Moon and the Earth. Although there was no risk of it colliding with Earth, scientists were eager to obtain data on this asteroid, including its exact size, shape, surface characteristics and orbit.
For these purposes, astronomers used the Deep Space Network’s Goldstone Solar System Radar, installed in California, with an aperture diameter of up to 70 meters. It turned out that the asteroid has an elongated shape – 500 meters long and 150 meters wide. Of the 1040 objects observed by radar, 2011 AG5 was the most elongated. In addition, a depression was found on one of the “hemispheres” of the asteroid, as well as a relief – stripes several tens of meters wide.
The study of asteroids is essential to understanding the history of the solar system.
Earlier, a Russian astronomer spoke about an 800-meter asteroid flying past the Earth.