Thursday, September 22, 2011


Asteroid 2005 YU55 as imaged by radar from Arecibo Observatory
(NASA/Cornell/Arecibo photo)
A close encounter with a near-Earth asteroid this month should present hams who have dish antennas with the opportunity to listen for radar signals being bounced off its surface. The AMSAT News Service reports that on November 8 and 9, researchers at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and the Goldstone Deep Space Network facility in California will be transmitting continuous radar signals at asteroid 2005 YU55 on 2380 and 8560 MHz, respectively. Hams with small dish antennas (less than one square meter) should be able to monitor the reflections, which should sound like slowly drifting narrowband signals (approx. 1 Hz bandwidth), within a few kilohertz of the frequencies above. More information is available online at <>.