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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.