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"This level of detail is similar to fly-by observations obtained by spacecraft," he noted.
With the GBT's newly installed data acquisition equipment, the astronomers were able to create images with a resolution as fine as a few (3.75) meters, revealing distinct surface features.
27, 2014, reveal the asteroid's surface features in unprecedented clarity.
Radar image of asteroid 2004 BL86 made by the Green Bank Telescope from radar transmitted from NASA's Goldstone Deep Space Network antenna.
At the time of the observations, the asteroid was traveling away from the Earth, so its distance varied from 1.3 million to 1.6 million kilometers, or about three-and-a-half to four times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.
To make these images, a continuous radar signal was sent from the transmitter at Goldstone to the asteroid.
The reflected signal was then received by the 100-meter diameter dish of the GBT in a process known as bistatic radar imaging.