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Blog Archive

 

Great whirling Jupiter

Emily Lakdawalla • November 10, 2016

Damian Peach's marvelous Jupiter photography, endlessly rotating in GIF form.

Half the Park is After Dark: Stargazers Celebrate U.S. National Parks Centennial

CaLisa Lee • August 08, 2016

On August 25th, 2016, the U.S. National Park Service is celebrating its Centennial. That’s 100 years of protecting the lands and the night skies so that people from around the world and all walks of life can come and see the stars!

WISE Views in Infrared

Judy Schmidt • June 24, 2016

Amateur image processor Judy Schmidt explains the process of creating gorgeous views of the cosmos from infrared data from the WISE telescope.

Three bright planets: Portraits from the Pyrenees

Emily Lakdawalla • May 26, 2016

It's a great time to go outdoors and look at planets. I have three glorious planetary portraits to share today, sent to me by amateur astronomer Jean-Luc Dauvergne.

Running Down a Comet

Joseph Masiero • January 26, 2016

The Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) telescope has discovered its first comet of 2016.

Checking in on Uranus and Neptune, September 2015 edition

Emily Lakdawalla • September 22, 2015

There are no spacecraft at Uranus or Neptune, and there haven't been for 30 and 25 years, respectively. So we depend on Earth-based astronomers to monitor them, including Damian Peach.

Jupiter's changing face, 2009-2015

Emily Lakdawalla • July 24, 2015

Damian Peach's photo-documentation of Jupiter helps us monitor the giant planet's ever-changing patterns of belts, zones, storms, and barges, during a time when no orbiting missions are there to take pictures.

Addressing some common questions about Comet Lovejoy

Matthew Knight • January 23, 2015

Lowell Observatory's Matthew Knight addresses several points of confusion that have repeatedly come up in the coverage of Comet Lovejoy.

Hunting Binary Asteroids

Bruce Betts • November 07, 2014

Thanks to The Planetary Society’s Shoemaker NEO Grant program, a new telescope has been brought to bear focusing on searching for and understanding the properties of binary asteroid systems.

I've been asteroided! (274860) Emilylakdawalla

Emily Lakdawalla • July 16, 2014

What a great piece of news to receive upon returning home from vacation! There is now a small piece of the solar system named for me: asteroid 274860 has been formally named "Emilylakdawalla" by the International Astronomical Union. Here is everything I've been able to learn about my namesake asteroid.

Voyager 3 Project

Peter Rosén • July 08, 2014

In 1979, the Voyager 1 probe took a stunning series of images on its final approach to Jupiter. Thirty-five years later, almost to the day, a group of seven Swedish amateur astronomers set out to replicate this odyssey, but with images taken with their own ground-based telescopes.

Opposition time for Mars, and several months of dancing with the stars

ESA Mars Express Team • April 08, 2014

The Mars Express team showcases some of the best viewing opportunities of Mars in 2014, including how to spot Comet Siding Spring when it flies past Mars this October.

Shivering in Paradise: An Alaskan Aurora Adventure

Mat Kaplan • March 14, 2014

Mat Kaplan checks an item off his bucket list: Seeing the aurora in Alaska.

Pretty Picture: Three Wanderers

Emily Lakdawalla • March 12, 2014

With all the excitement happening on missions criscrossing the solar system, I often forget to enjoy the views of our solar system that we can achieve from home. Amateur astronomers don't make the same mistake. Here's a lovely photo that Stuart Atkinson sent me, captured last night from Kendal, England, showing four special wanderers.

Eyes and stopwatch are all that are needed to help measure an invisible asteroid

Ted Blank • March 03, 2014

Would you like to be part of one of the largest citizen-science efforts in the history of astronomy? The International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) invites you to join in the campaign to observe and time the best and brightest asteroid occultation ever predicted to occur over a populated area – and no telescope is required!

Intro Astronomy Class 3: Telescopes, the Moon

Bruce Betts • February 21, 2014

Explore optical, radio, and space telescopes and the Moon in the video of class 3 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

A new comet observing campaign for C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)

Karl Battams • January 27, 2014

You thought you were rid of us...but we're back! Following the spectacular and, quite frankly unprecedented, success of the Comet ISON Observing Campaign, we are launching a similar venture for another unique cometary encounter that's happening this year. In October 2014, comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass extremely close to Mars.

Planetary Radio: NEOWISE PI Amy Mainzer

Mat Kaplan • January 01, 2014

NEOWISE has reawakened to discover many more asteroids and comets. The mission leader thanks the amateur astronomers who follow up on these discoveries.

A case of the measles for Jupiter?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2013

Amateur astronomer Christopher Go has found Jupiter to be putting on a fun show for observers: it's sprouting little red spots "like it has a measles attack!"

Comet ISON Enters the Final Countdown

Karl Battams • November 19, 2013

We're now less than two weeks away from comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) reaching perihelion and, if we’re honest, we are still none the wiser as to how the situation might play out!

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