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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!

Neptune: The new amateur boundary?

Christophe Pellier • November 07, 2013

Can features on Neptune be observed by amateur astronomers? For years, the Hubble Space Telescope and some professional terrestrial observatories have been revealing incomplete belts and spots on the surface of Neptune. Now, spots have been imaged by amateurs.

Asteroid Telescope First Light

Bruce Betts • August 16, 2013

Using a Shoemaker NEO Grant a new telescope is operating in Illinois to do asteroid tracking.

Comet ISON lives on! (we think...)

Karl Battams • August 13, 2013

For several weeks now, ground-based observers have been blind to Comet ISON as our local star was sitting directly between us and the comet. I am delighted to share two pieces of good news: first, that ISON is still alive and well, and secondly that it has been recovered.

Found a Killer Asteroid? Who Ya Gonna Call?

Mat Kaplan • July 08, 2013

Astronomer Timothy Spahr directs the Minor Planet Center, the global clearinghouse for asteroids, comets and other relatively small objects in the solar system, including moons. He also coordinates the Society's Shoemaker NEO grant program.

Checking in on Jupiter

Emily Lakdawalla • March 12, 2013

We don't have any spacecraft at Jupiter right now, which is a pity. Until we do, we have to rely upon Earth-based astronomers to monitor the changing face of the largest planet.

Saturn's Hexagon Viewed from the Ground

Leigh Fletcher • February 01, 2013

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

Shoemaker Winner Hug Discovers Near Earth Asteroid 2013 AS27

Bruce Betts • January 10, 2013

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.

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

Bill Gray • September 25, 2012

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.

Saving the World: Established 1997

Bruce Betts • September 21, 2012

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.

Virtual Star Parties

Emily Lakdawalla • June 28, 2012

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.

Celestron Video From USA Science & Engineering Festival

Mat Kaplan • June 06, 2012

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

Adventures in urban astrophotography

Jason Davis • February 20, 2012

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.

Checking up on Jupiter and Saturn

Emily Lakdawalla • February 10, 2012

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?

Sungrazing with Lovejoy's Comet

Jason Davis • December 06, 2011

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).

Jupiter's outbreak is spreading

Emily Lakdawalla • November 22, 2010

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.

The Disturbance is Starting

Emily Lakdawalla • November 11, 2010

Jupiter's faded belt may be coming back.

Early warning for close approaches of two house-sized asteroids

Emily Lakdawalla • September 08, 2010

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • August 24, 2010

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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