The Arecibo Observatory, in Puerto Rico, is the premier radio telescope instrument used in the Earth-based study of the planets and small bodies in the solar system. It is capable of beaming a powerful signal into space ancj receiving the radio waves reflected from the source. The telescope has been used to map the surface characteristic.s of the Moon, Venus, and Mars, and recently has started to provide data on the physical properties of near-Earth asteroids. The radio wave reflection properties are affected strongly by the surface roughness and by the granularity of surface materials, and to a more limited extent by the composition of the asteroids.
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WebWork: Al Globus, Bryan Yager, and Tugrul Sezen