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Blog Archive


Saturn's Hexagon Viewed from the Ground

Posted by Leigh Fletcher on 2013/02/01 05:49 CST | 2 comments

For the first time, amateur astronomers are capturing spectacular images of Saturn's bizarre north polar hexagon.

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Shoemaker Winner Hug Discovers Near Earth Asteroid 2013 AS27

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/01/10 04:43 CST | 8 comments

Using a Planetary Society provided camera, Gary Hug in Kansas, USA discovered Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2013 AS27 on Jan. 7, 2013. Shoemaker winner Bob Holmes provided the first follow up observations of this 140m-310m wide asteroid.

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Comet ISON: 30% chance of awesome, 60% chance of that being wrong

Posted by Bill Gray on 2012/09/25 12:15 CDT | 10 comments

A very interesting comet has recently been discovered -- interesting because it will nearly graze the Sun in August 2013 and then approach Earth closely the following December. Whether it will turn out to be a great comet is impossible to know.

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Saving the World: Established 1997
The Shoemaker NEO Grants at 15

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/09/21 01:00 CDT | 2 comments

The Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO grants celebrate their 15th anniversary of helping to find and track near Earth asteroids. Here's a quick review of the program, and updates on our four multiple-grant winners.

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Virtual Star Parties

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/06/28 12:02 CDT

Hang out with Fraser Cain and amateur astronomers all over the world in Cosmoquest's Virtual Star parties conducted over Google+. Here's how -- plus an inspiring video produced by Google to show just how cool this is.

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Celestron Video From USA Science & Engineering Festival

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/06/06 06:26 CDT | 1 comments

Telescope maker Celestron joined the Planetary Society at April's big festival in Washington. Their new video about the experience features our Emily Lakdawalla.

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Adventures in urban astrophotography

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/02/20 01:55 CST

Just because you live in an urban area with skyglow doesn't mean you can't have fun with astrophotography. How to capture the planets, constellations and the ISS.

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Checking up on Jupiter and Saturn

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/10 01:51 CST

It's amateur astronomers, not professionals, who are shouldering the burden of constant monitoring of the weather on Jupiter and Saturn. What's going on these days in the outer solar system?

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Sungrazing with Lovejoy's Comet

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/12/06 10:42 CST

Observations of the newly sighted Kreutz sungrazer comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) from the ground and from SOHO (a joint NASA/ESA satellite) and STEREO (NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory).

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Jupiter's outbreak is spreading

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/22 11:03 CST

Jupiter, always a pretty sight in the sky, is now worth visiting every day; the "outbreak" that heralds the return of Jupiter's formerly red, now fadedsouth equatorial belt is expanding and multiplying.

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The Disturbance is Starting

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/11 10:48 CST

Jupiter's faded belt may be coming back.

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Early warning for close approaches of two house-sized asteroids

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/08 01:31 CDT

Most of you have probably heard by now of two small asteroids, both in the neighborhood of 10 meters in diameter, recently discovered on trajectories that pass unusually close to Earth.

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The August 20, 2010 Jupiter fireball -- and the March 5, 1979 one

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/24 11:36 CDT

Following up on the story I first posted on August 22, the Jupiter impact fireball first noticed by Japanese amateur astronomer Masayuki Tachikawa has been independently confirmed by two other Japanese astronomers.

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Yet another Jupiter impact!? August 20, seen from Japan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/22 05:03 CDT

This may be a very common event after all: another optical flash has been observed on Jupiter, again from an observer far east of the Greenwich meridian, though it was not Anthony Wesley (for once).

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The June 3 Jupiter Impact: 22 hours later

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/04 01:14 CDT

Time to take stock of what happened a day ago. The worldwide, round-the-clock nature of planetary science is both exhilarating and challenging!

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Confirmation of the Jupiter impact from Christopher Go

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/03 07:51 CDT

The impact flash on Jupiter observed earlier today by Anthony Wesley has been confirmed by Philippines-based amateur astronomer Christopher Go.

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A NEW! Impact on Jupiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/03 05:51 CDT

On the same day as a team of astronomers released new Hubble Space Telescope images of last year's Jupiter impact, the original discoverer of the 2009 impact scar, Anthony Wesley, reported on an amateur astronomy forum that he had observed a new impact on Jupiter.

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