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11th of December 2023
Near Earth Asteroid radar observations
A recent ADAP described bistatic radar observations of an asteroid during its close approach to Earth. These were made by transmitting a tone at 7.1 GHz from an antenna at Tidbinbilla toward the asteroid, with the reflected signal detected at the ATCA. Another observation was made last week, while the current cohort of ATNf Vacation Students were at the ATCA to undertake their own observations. On this occasion the asteroid was 2001 QQ142, estimated to be somewhere between 500 and 1200m in size, and which at its closest was 14.4 lunar distances (or 5.5 million km) from Earth. The image above shows the CDSCC 34m antenna DSS-34 tracking the asteroid just after it had risen above the horizon. The constellation of Orion is clearly visible in the southern summer sky. (Image credit: Shinji Horiuchi)

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