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07 November 2011

Asteroid Ping experiment November 8 for suitably equipped stations

On Tuesday, November 8, at 6:28 p.m. EST, an asteroid the size of an
aircraft carrier will soar past our planet at a distance closer than the Moon… and NASA scientists will be watching! Suitably equipped amateur radio stations may enjoy looking over their shoulder ...

The 400 meter diameter near-Earth asteroid 2005 YU55 will be making
a 0.85 lunar distance flyby of Earth on November 8. Michael Busch at the UCLA Department of Earth and Space Sciences notes this may offer an
opportunity for amateur satellite operators to observe the fly-by.

UCLA will be conducting an extensive campaign of radar observations with the Arecibo Observatory, the Deep Space Network Goldstone facility, and the Green Bank Telescope and the Very Long Baseline Array.

Because YU55 will be so close to Earth, its radar echo will be detectable with even small antennas (~1 m^2). YU55's echo will be a slowly drifting signal with a bandwidth of ~1 Hz within a few kHz of 2380 MHz or 8560 MHz.

This will present amateur radio operators an opportunity to receive the radar reflections off of the asteroid because of the big dish, big signals originating from Arecibo and Goldstone.

On November 8, 2011, 19:15 - 19:30 UTC, Arecibo will be transmitting
a continuous wave tuned to put the asteroid's echo at a constant
2380.000000 MHz at the Green Bank Telescope. Observers elsewhere on
Earth will see the echo within 2 kHz of 2380 MHz, Doppler-shifted by
the Earth's rotation. It will be slowly drifting in frequency and have a bandwidth of ~0.6 Hz.

On November 9, 2011, 01:30 - 02:00 UTC, the Goldstone Deep Space Network facility will be be transmitting a continuous wave tuned to put
the asteroid's echo a constant 8560.000000 MHz at a second antenna at
the Goldstone site. Other observers may see the echo shifted by as much as 6 kHz, and it will have a bandwidth of ~2 Hz.

Initial information can be found on-line at:
http://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/2005YU55/2005YU55_planning.html
UniverseToday posted an article about this event at:
http://tinyurl.com/438kznj
Source: Amsat, Michael Busch, UCLA Department of Earth and Space Sciences
Amsat website
http://www.amsat.org

- Southgate Amateur Radio News