PIA26383: Detailed Planetary Radar Observations of Asteroid 2024 MK
 Target Name:  Asteroid
 Mission:  Deep Space Network (DSN)
 Instrument:  Deep Space Network 
 Product Size:  7202 x 8058 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA26383.tif (25.86 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA26383.jpg (5.619 MB)

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Figure A: Click here for animation

This mosaic shows NASA's radar observations in one-minute increments of asteroid 2024 MK, a 500-foot-wide (150-meter-wide) near-Earth object, made June 30, 2024, a day after it passed our planet from a distance of only 184,00 miles (295,000 kilometers).

The Deep Space Network's 230-foot (70-meter) Goldstone Solar System Radar, called Deep Space Station 14 (or DSS-14), was used to transmit radio frequency signals to the asteroid, and the 114-foot (34-meter) DSS-13 received the reflected signals. The result of this "bistatic" radar observation is a detailed image of the asteroid's surface, revealing concavities, ridges, and boulders about 30 feet (10 meters) wide.

The observations were made just before 5:55 a.m. UTC June 30 (10:55 p.m. PDT June 29). The asteroid's close approach occurred at 13:49 UTC June 29 (6:49 a.m. PDT June 29).

Figure A shows an animation of the rotating asteroid using the individual observations.

Close approaches of near-Earth objects the size of 2024 MK are relatively rare, occurring about every couple of decades, on average, so scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California sought to gather as much data about the object as possible.

The Goldstone Solar System Radar Group is supported by NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program within the Planetary Defense Coordination Office at the agency's headquarters in Washington. Managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Deep Space Network receives programmatic oversight from Space Communications and Navigation program office within the Space Operations Mission Directorate, also at NASA Headquarters.

More information about planetary radar and near-Earth objects can be found at: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroid-watch

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