|1st of September 2017|
|Fly-by of the asteroid Florence|
The asteroid Florence will pass safely
by Earth on Sept. 1, 2017, at a distance of about 7 million
kilometers, or about 18 Earth-Moon distances. Florence, which is about 4.4 km
in diameter, is among the largest of the near-Earth asteroids. The 2017
encounter is the closest by this asteroid since 1890 and the closest
it will be until after 2500.
Radar has been used to observe hundreds of asteroids, and is a
powerful technique for studying their sizes, shapes, rotation,
surface features and roughness, and for more precise determination of
their orbit around the Sun.
In the USA, radar imaging is being carried out at NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar in California and at the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. In Australia, similar efforts are being made with an antenna at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex being used to transmit the radar signal, and the Australia Telescope Compact Array being used to receive the echo from Florence.