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Planetary Radar Research at the Arecibo Observatory

FSI Seminar

Thursday, May 3 at 11:00 AM at FSI Partnership 1 Room 209


Title: Planetary radar research at the Arecibo Observatory


Speaker:  Anne Virkki


Abstract: Planetary radar is one of the humankind’s strongest ground-based instruments for post-discovery characterization and orbital refinement of near-Earth objects. The radar echo brightness and polarization are suggestive of the physical characteristics, such as the surface roughness or the chemical composition. The delay and Doppler shift measurements can reveal the target’s distance with a resolution as fine as roughly 10 meters and the radial velocity with a resolution as fine as a few millimeters per second. In addition, the size, the shape, the rotation state, and any potential satellites can be resolved through radar imaging. In my talk, I will present the planetary radar research group at the Arecibo Observatory, a brief overview of the capabilities of the Arecibo radar, and what planetary radar observations can reveal of planetary surfaces.


Bio: Anne Virkki is currently the acting group lead of the planetary radar group at the Arecibo Observatory. She started in Arecibo as a postdoctoral research scientist in April 2016 after finishing her dissertation on “Planetary surface characterization by modeling radar scattering” in University of Helsinki.