An asteroid passes Earth today, so scientists are photographing it with radio waves

HAARP's antenna network comprises 180 antennas spread over 33 acres.

HAARP The antenna array at the facility includes 180 antennas spread over 33 acres.
photo: HAARP

A group of researchers To try Radio signals bounce off 500ft wide asteroid as it flies by To land Mardi.

The High Frequency Active Aurora Program (HAARP) aims to point its antennas On asteroid 2010 XC15, a space rock is classified as close-Earth’s potentially dangerous asteroid. The effort is an attempt to prepare for a larger body, known as Apophis, Who will have a close encounter with our planet in 2029.

“What’s new and what we’re trying to do is explore the interiors of asteroids using long-wave radar and ground-based radio telescopes,” said Mark Hynes, the project’s principal investigator and engineer. in radar systems at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in southern California. a statement. “Longer wavelengths can penetrate the body much better than the radio wavelengths used for communications. »

HAARP is a research center in Gakona, Alaska (one of which was Subject of many conspiracy theories). It is made up of 180 high-frequency antennas, each 72 feet tall and spanning 33 acres. the A facility that sends radio packets to The ionosphere, the ionized part of the atmosphere Located Approximately 50 to 400 miles (80 to 600 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface. HAARP sends radio signals into the ionosphere and waits to see how they return, with the aim of measuring, among other things, disturbances caused by the sun.

Company Launch a scientific campaign in October With 13 experiments, including one involving bouncing signals from the moon. At the time, HAARP researchers He plans to send a radio signal to an asteroid to examine the interior of the rocky body.

During today’s experiment, TJHAARP antennas in Alaska will send radio signals to the asteroid, And then the scientists Check If the reflected signals arrive in one Antenna Arrays at the University of New Mexico Long Wavelength Array and that Owens Valley Radio Observatory Longwave Array.

HAARP will continuously transmit a chirp signal just above and below 9.6 MHz; The beep will repeat every two seconds. At its closest approach on December 27, the asteroid will be about twice the distance from the Moon to Earth.

Tuesday’s experiment aims to prepare for an upcoming encounter with an asteroid in 2029. This potentially dangerous asteroid, officially known as 99942 Apophis, about 1210 feet (370 meters) widewill come inside 20 000 miles (32 000 km) of Earth on April 13, 2029. The NEO was thought to pose a slight danger to Earth in 2068, but NASA excluded that one.

However, HAARP wants to examine the asteroid to prepare for potential dangers in the future. space rocks. “The more time there is before a potential impact occurs, the more options there are to try to distract,” Haynes said.

In September, NASA’s DART spacecraft cmOscillating in a small line asteroid And managed to change its orbit. Such a strategy can be single A way to turn threatening space rocks To land.

Today Review Shows the possibility of using long wave radio signals for investigation inside asteroids. “If we can get the ground systems working, that will give us a lot of opportunities to try to do some internal sensing of these things,” Haynes said.

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