Dr. Michael Busch, from SETI Institute of USA, gave us a splendid presentation titled “Radar Astronomy and Near-Earth Asteroids” on invitation at SHAO, 8 October, 2015. Dozens of researchers attended the presentation and made effective communications as well.
The near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are a population of objects on orbits around the Sun that pass near or cross that of Earth. They are probes of solar system history, accessible targets for spacecraft missions, and a potential hazard to life on Earth. Ground-based radar observations with large radio telescopes provide the extremely accurate astrometry and trajectory predictions for near-Earth asteroids. They also provide detailed information on the shapes, spin states, and surface properties of a large number of objects; giving essential context for spacecraft missions to asteroids. Michael described the techniques of planetary radar astronomy and reviewed the capabilities of the Green Bank Telescope, and the Very Long Baseline Array. He also detailed the physical properties of a few asteroid radar targets; including Toutatis, visited by the Chang'e 2 spacecraft in 2012, and Bennu, target of NASA's upcoming OSIRIS-REx mission. In addition, he even showed us some samples including a meteorite gathered February 15th, 2013 in Russia.
After that, the attendees (researchers and students), according to their own research area, questioned the presenters on aspects they are interested in, exchanged views.