Lists of Objects Recently Detected with Arecibo

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013

History of Radar Detections Since 1998

Observations using the Arecibo S-band (2380 MHz, 12.6 cm) planetary radar system started in 1976 and its power and sensitivity were greatly improved with the telescope upgrade and Gregorian-dome installation in the mid-1990s. Below, we show the number of near-Earth asteroids attempted and detected since the radar program resumed in 1998. At first, observations of a couple dozen objects were attempted per year, mostly the largest and/or closest targets, especially those classified as asteroids potentially hazardous to Earth (PHAs). In 2011, the radar program became NASA-funded (through the Near-Earth Object Observations program) and there was a push to observe more objects, especially smaller asteroids that are of interest for missions by robotic or manned spacecraft or those that could cause significant regional, rather than global, damage in the event of an impact. In 2016, we detected 63 objects (out of 86 attempts) despite a three-month shutdown for telescope maintenance and other technical issues throughout the year. Some objects were not detected because they are simply too small and/or too far away even for our giant telescope to detect, but """you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. --Wayne Gretzky" --Michael Scott" --#TeamRadar"

Small asteroids specifically of interest to NASA for possible future robotic or manned missions are termed Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) compliant. The number of NHATS objects detected with Arecibo similarly jumped in 2012, and 2016 was a record year, where we detected 27 of these objects.

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