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Radar Images of Asteroid 1999 FN53 from Arecibo Observatory

Status Report From: Arecibo Observatory
Posted: Friday, May 15, 2015

Scientists from the Arecibo Observatory captured images of the asteroid 1999 FN53, which was visible since this past Tuesday until today Friday, May 15, 2015. Its diameter is of 800-900 meters, with a rotation period of 3.5 hours. Its distance is approximately 27 times more distant than our Moon. In comparison, the asteroid 2004 BL86, which was observed in January, was only 3.5 times more distant than our Moon.

This asteroid is not categorized like a potentially hazardous asteroid, so it does not present any type of danger. Dr. Edgard Rivera-Valentín, member of the Planetary Department, explained. “In fact, asteroid 1999 FN53 does not pass very near to any planet.” The team in charge of this observation was Dr. Michael Nolan, Dr. Ellen Howell, Dr. Patrick Taylor, Dr. Edgard Rivera-Valentín, Dr. James Richardson and Mrs. Linda Ford.

Contacts:
Ruth E. Torres Hernández
Oficial de Relaciones Públicas
Observatorio de Arecibo
+1 787-878-2612, ext. 615
+1 787-766-1717, ext. 6898

Yvonne Guadalupe Negrón
Directora-Oficina de Relaciones Públicas
Universidad Metropolitana
+1 787-766-1717, ext. 6405
+1 787-242-0806

Image caption:
Series of images of asteroid 1999 FN53 captured by the Arecibo Observatory. Each image indicates 10 minutes of rotation, where the shiniest point (bottom) rotates to the left. Credit: Courtesy of the NAIC Arecibo Observatory, a facility of the NSF.

Located in Puerto Rico, the Arecibo Observatory is home to the largest and most sensitive single dish radio telescope in the world. The Arecibo Observatory is operated by SRI International in partnership with Ana G. Méndez University System-Universidad Metropolitana and Universities Space Research Administration (USRA) under a cooperative agreement with the NSF. The Arecibo Planetary Radar program is supported by NASA’s Near Earth Object Observation program.

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