Destroyed Observatory issues final Asteroid warning after fatal crash

(ORDO NEWS) — After falling to pieces in December 2020, the mighty Arecibo observatory received the last parting gift to humanity, and this is just nonsense.

Using data collected by Arecibo in December 2017. and in December 2019, scientists published the largest ever published report of near-Earth asteroids based on radar data.

The report, published September 22 includes detailed observations of the 191 near-Earth asteroids, including almost 70 that are considered “potentially hazardous”, that is, large asteroids with orbits that bring them closer to Earth at a distance of 4.65 million miles (7.5 million kilometers), which is about 20 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon.

Fortunately, none of these newly described asteroids pose an immediate threat to Earth; according to NASA, our planet is safe from deadly asteroid impacts for at least the next 100 years.

However, scientists still pay close attention to such near-Earth objects in case their trajectories shift by some random chance of nature say, a push from another asteroid thus putting them on a collision course with Earth.

The new report also flags several asteroids deemed worthy of future study, including a strange space object called 2017 YE5. – an ultra-rare double asteroid of “equal mass”, consisting of two stones of almost the same size, which constantly rotate around each other. Each of the stones is estimated to range from 2600 to 2950 feet, or 800 to 900 meters in diameter.

The asteroid’s high radar reflectivity could indicate an abundance of water ice below its surface, possibly making it a previously unseen class of icy, equal-mass, near-Earth asteroids, the researchers wrote.

With this new treasure trove of data, scientists can bet “Measure the shapes, sizes and rotation periods of these asteroids, which are important indicators for evaluating the potential risk that asteroids could pose to our planet,” says study lead author Ann Wirkki, a research scientist in physics Faculty of the University of Helsinki. Finland, the statement said.

“The amount of valuable data collected is unique, and these results could not be achieved at any other existing facility,” study co-author Flavian Venditti, head of the Arecibo Planetary Center. Added Radar Science Group.

The Arecibo Observatory was built in Puerto Rico in 1963 and became the largest and most powerful radio telescope in the world. His iconic 1,000-foot (305-metre) wide telescopic dish became world famous in the 1990s after being featured in films such as Contact (1997) and GoldenEye (1995).

By that time, the observatory was already known in the scientific community for the fact that in 1974, humanity sent the first message to aliens in space.

More recently, Arecibo asteroid observations played a direct role in planning NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) mission, in which scientists crashed a spacecraft into the near-Earth asteroid Dimorphos and changed its orbital period by 32 minutes.

Arecibo’s career came to an abrupt end in December 2020 after two important support cables snapped, causing the telescope to collapse completely.

In October 2022, the National Science Foundation, which owns the site where Arecibo was built, announced that the telescope would not be replaced or repaired, much to the dismay of scientists and space enthusiasts around the world.

Researchers are still analyzing the accumulated data from Arecibo, the team noted, so the world’s most famous dead telescope may still have many scientific gifts to offer us from the afterlife in the coming years.


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