Skip to comments.Astronomers release even more [poor quality]images of the asteroid that buzzed Earth
Posted on 11/10/2011 11:05:14 AM PST by BenLurkin
Earlier this week, a hunk of rock called asteroid 2005 YU55 came within smashing distance of Earth. It was purported to be the size of an aircraft carrier, and wound up flying by us at a distance of just under 200,000 miles, much closer than the Moon.
But as close as the asteroid came to Earth, it seems the best we've managed to produce imaging-wise are highly pixelated images like the ones up top (alright, so the one in the middle is actually pretty decent, with a resolution of about 4 meters/pixel...although my favorite is the one on the far right, which I'm still not convinced isn't actually a fuzzy picture of peanut M&M). But you have to remember these images were captured using radio telescopes (well, the first two were the M&M is actually the first optical/near-infrared image of the asteroid, but we'll get to that in a minute).
(Excerpt) Read more at io9.com ...
If this rock came close to Herman Cain, we would have thousands of pictures and some women saying it threatened them!
If Kim Kardashian sunbathed on this asteroid, we would have great pictures!
This could explain Perry’s poor performance during the debate last night, the added gravitational pull shifted Perry’s brain to one side of his skull squashing it a bit.
If Kris Humphries had this asteroid mounted on a ring for Kim Kardashian, we would have good pictures of it!
It was only about a quarter of an arcsecond wide at close approach. That’s incredibly tiny. Considering that, the radar pictures we have of it are actually quite good. In fact, at that size you’re doing really good if you can even just resolve it as more than a point-like light source (in other words, star-like). My telescope’s theoretical limit of resolution is only half an arcsecond, but I did get a nice timelapse of the asteroid moving against the stars during the close approach.
You probably won’t see a good image of it because most everything we have pointed into space for imaging, can’t focus at such a close distance.
Thats a big telescope!
This asteroid was discovered six years ago. Considering how close it gets to Earth I’m surprised NASA didn’t put a satellite together, launch it into orbit, land on the asteroid, and bring back a sample as well as high resolution photos.
$$$$$$, that's why! Why waste so much on so little?
Wow, great video. I’m also interested in astronomy, though at the moment I just have a lowly ETX-70. Thanks for sharing that...it gives one an extremely lonely feeling watching it.
Great vid ... last year while camping a Girlfriend and I saw what looked just like that ... we did the UFO, SR71 and Satellite debate and then we just chalked it up as a memorable experience... (now if I could just find her number)
An “extra, extra” ping to the APoD list members. Thanks BenLurkin.
If it came “within smashing distance”, how come it didn’t smash?
It obviously did NOT come within smashing distance.
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