Radar observations of asteroid (441987) 2010 NY65


Our 2016 observations of 2010 NY65 with the Arecibo radar are scheduled in the second half of June. UCLA graduate student Adam Greenberg is leading the observations. He will use the results as part of his PhD research.

Adam's observations in 2015 provided some basic information about size and spin rate. The images also revealed a distinct feature, possibly a crater on the surface.

The goal of the 2016 observations are to better characterize the size, shape, and spin state of this body. We are particularly interested in 2010 NY65 because it makes annual close approaches to Earth at less than 0.03 astronomical units through 2020, allowing us to quantify spin and orbit dynamics in excrutiating detail. Our team previously took advantage of a similar pattern of close approaches to provide the first observational evidence of the YORP effect.

In 2016, the round-trip light-time to the target will be as low as 28 s, or about 11 lunar distances. We anticipate a signal-to-noise ratio of several hundred per transmit-receive run, which will enable imaging at spatial resolutions of 15 m (45 ft) or better. We will observe 2010 NY65 almost daily between June 21 and June 27, 2016.

Technical information

Orbital parameters are a=0.999 au, e=0.37, i=11.7 degrees.

Preliminary estimate of diameter: 0.3 km.

Lightcurve period (approximation to spin period): TBD.


The Arecibo Observatory is funded primarily by NSF whereas the Arecibo Planetary Radar is funded primarily by NASA. Our research group is funded by NASA's Near-Earth Object Observation Program to characterize near-Earth asteroids with radar.

The Arecibo Observatory is operated by SRI International under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (AST-1100968), and in alliance with Ana G. Méndez-Universidad Metropolitana, and the Universities Space Research Association.

The Arecibo Planetary Radar Program is supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. NNX12AF24G issued through the Near Earth Object Observations program.