500-Foot Asteroid blasted by radio signals from Earth
A group of researchers has sent radio signals into space with an attempt to bounce them off a 500-foot asteroid. The intention is to find out about the interior of this asteroid.
The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Programme (HAARP), a powerful transmitter in remote Alaska, aimed its antennas at asteroid 2010 XC15, a space rock categorised as a near-Earth potentially hazardous asteroid, to send long wavelength radio signals, reports IANS.
The aim and result behind the experiment is to protect the earth from the threat of larger asteroids that could cause significant damage to the planet.
Mark Haynes, lead investigator on the project and a radar systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said, “We hope to publish the results in the coming months. This shows the value of HAARP as a potential future research tool for the study of near-Earth objects". (Pixabay)
This asteroid experiment is the first time that an asteroid observation was attempted at such low frequencies. (Pixabay)
The experiment also served as a test for probing an asteroid larger than Asteroid 2010 XC15. Asteroid Apophis, discovered in 2004, may well serve for the purpose as it will make its closest approach to Earth on April 13, 2029. (NASA)
Apophis will come as close as 20000 miles of earth. This is nearer than many of the geostationary satellites orbiting the planet, IANS reported. (NASA)
Asteroid 99942 Apophis is NEO estimated to be about 1,100 feet (340 meters) across, NASA says. (NASA)
When it was discovered in 2004, Apophis was identified as one of the most hazardous asteroids that could impact Earth.
However, that impact assessment changed after astronomers tracked Apophis and its orbit became better determined. (Pixabay)