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March 6, 2017
With an antenna 305 meters in diameter, consisting of 38,778 aluminum panels with a collection area of approximately 73,000 m², the Arecibo observatory has the second largest radio telescope in the world after the Chinese FAST.
The asteroid 2015 BN509
The asteroid to the form of immense peanut could, according to the observatory, one day constitute a danger to the Earth. According to the scientists, it could be that one day it could one day cross the road of the Earth and cause serious damage because of its speed, 70 000 km / h and its size, 200m wide.
Radar image of a giant, peanut-shaped asteroid may one day threaten Earth
According to Ed Rivera-Valentin, an astronomer at the University Space Research Association, the asteroid would be about 14 times the distance between Earth and the Moon, which is close to the space scale.
Researchers on the lookout
Scientists are therefore trying to calculate the trajectory of the asteroid and continue to monitor it. "Unlike natural disasters, an asteroid impact can be avoided," says one researcher. "That's why information gathered by Arecibo can be used by NASA to prepare a defense mission."
Arecibo Observatory: http://www.naic.edu/
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For more information about NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense
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Images, Text, Credits: AFP/Wikipedia/Arecibo Observatory/NASA/NSF/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.