This composite image of asteroid 2007 PA8 was obtained using data taken by NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif. The composite incorporates images generated from data collected at Goldstone on Oct. 28, 29, and 30, 2012, when the asteroid's distance from Earth shrank from 6.5 million miles (10 million kilometers) to 5.6 million miles (9 million kilometers). The perspective is analogous to seeing the asteroid from above its north pole. Each of the three images in the composite is shown at the same scale.
The radar images of asteroid 2007 PA8 indicate that it is an elongated, irregularly-shaped object approximately one mile (1.6 kilometers) wide, with facets and perhaps concavities. The data also indicate that 2007 PA8 rotates very slowly, roughly once every three to four days.
JPL manages the Near-Earth Object Program Office for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
More information about asteroids and near-Earth objects is at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch. More information about asteroid radar research is at: http://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/. More information about the Deep Space Network is at: http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsn.