Space Peanut

Space Peanut

On July 24, 2015, Asteroid 1999 JD6 flew within 7.2 million kilometers (4.5 million miles) of Earth. These radar images of it were captured at its closest approach. The asteroid is a contact binary, an asteroid with two lobes stuck together. It is about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) long, and its shape has earned the nickname “Space Peanut.”

The radar images were created using the Deep Space Network antenna in California and the Green Bank telescope in West Virginia. The Deep Space Network antenna beamed a radar signal at the asteroid, and the Green Bank telescope received the reflection. 

There is a model of the Deep Space Network antenna in the Exploring the Planets gallery.

  • WEB15099-2015

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