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News brief: OSIRIS-REx arrives in orbit at Bennu

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2018 • 1

Today at 19:43 UTC, OSIRIS-REx entered orbit at asteroid Bennu. In so doing, it accomplished both the tightest orbit (at an altitude under 2 kilometers) and the orbit of the smallest object ever. UPDATE: Early science results from OSIRIS-REx discussed at New Horizons MU69 flyby event.

New Horizons fast approaching 2014 MU69

Emily Lakdawalla • December 27, 2018 • 3

Unaffected by the shutdown of the U.S. government, New Horizons is still on course for its New Year’s encounter with 2014 MU69 (nicknamed “Ultima Thule”). This post collects the latest images from New Horizons' approach to the tiny Kuiper belt object and will be updated regularly.

A new look at Europa, with old data

Ted Stryk • December 26, 2018

Ted Stryk shows us a new color, near-global view of Europa made from Galileo spacecraft data captured in 1996.

Happy Holidays. NASA is Shut Down.

Casey Dreier • December 22, 2018 • 7

A partial government shutdown has shuttered NASA's operations for at least a week. Critical programs like the International Space Station will continue. This is the third shutdown of 2018 and another pointless disruption for the hardworking men and women at the U.S. space agency.

Dawn Journal: Final Transmission

Marc Rayman • December 21, 2018 • 10

After more than 11 years in deep space, after unveiling the two largest uncharted worlds in the inner solar system, after overcoming myriad daunting obstacles, Dawn's interplanetary adventure has come to an end.

InSight update, sols 1-24: Operations begin, first instrument deployed

Emily Lakdawalla • December 21, 2018 • 5

It’s been a busy first three weeks on the InSight mission, and they’ve already achieved a major milestone: placing the seismometer on the ground. They've also gathered a self-portrait and 360-degree panorama.

The December Solstice 2018 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 18, 2018

I’m very proud to announce the publication of the December Solstice 2018 issue of The Planetary Report, “Where Life Began.”

Whose stars? Our heritage of Arabian astronomy

Danielle Adams • December 18, 2018 • 3

For UNESCO World Arabic Language Day, Danielle Adams reconstructs the Arabian night sky.

What to Expect When New Horizons Visits 2014 MU69, Ultima Thule

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2018 • 5

New Horizons is rapidly approaching its New Year’s encounter with the most distant world ever visited, 2014 MU69. Closest approach will be at a distance of 3,500 kilometers at about 05:33 on 1 January UTC.

Total Immersion in the Heavens

The Planetary Report • December Solstice 2018

Casey Dreier assesses the significance of the Apollo program on its 50th anniversary.

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