Not Your Father's Asteroid
On the left is a radar image of asteroid 1998 WT24 taken in December 2001 by scientists using NASA's the 230-foot (70-meter) DSS-14 antenna at Goldstone, California. On the right is a radar image of the same asteroid acquired on Dec. 11, 2015, during the asteroid's most recent Earth flyby.
The radar images from 2001 (on the left), have a resolution of about 60 feet (19 meters) per pixel. The radar image from 2015 (on the right) achieved a spatial resolution as fine as 25 feet (7.5 meters) per pixel.
The 2015 radar image was obtained using the same DSS-14 antenna at Goldstone to transmit high-power microwaves toward the asteroid. However, this time, the radar echoes bounced off the asteroid were received by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's 100-meter (330-foot) Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.
The next visit of asteroid 1998 WT24 to Earth's neighborhood will be on Nov. 11, 2018, when it will make a distant pass at about 12.5-million miles (52 lunar distances).
More information about the Deep Space Network is at http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsn.