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Blog Archive


Comet Garradd in 3D (sort of)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/12 12:52 CDT

Amateur astronomer Patrick Wiggins sent me this neat little animation of comet Garradd moving against background stars through an hour's worth of observing. I'm not any kind of astronomer but if I were I think I would get a kick out of looking at things that appear to move within one night of watching -- asteroids, comets, Jupiter's spots. I'm impatient that way.

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Jupiter's southern belt is coming back

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/01 09:34 CDT

In a story that I've been following for quite a while, Jupiter's southern equatorial belt, having faded to white in 2009, is now well on its way back to its former red glory.

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Lovely giant full Moon photo

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/01 03:08 CDT

Here's a photo worthy of hanging on the wall: a gorgeous, 4000-pixel-square portrait of the full Moon captured by Rolf Hempel from Germany on the night of the "Supermoon."

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Checking in on Jupiter: the belt is coming back

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/25 03:46 CDT

Since it's been several months since I last took a look at Jupiter, I thought it was time to see what's up with the South Equatorial Belt.

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Some recent pictures of Saturn's northern storm

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/07 04:35 CST

There is a huge storm that's spreading across so much of Saturn that it's been readily visible even from Earth-based telescopes. Over the past couple of days a couple of new images of Saturn have appeared that show just how enormous the storm is today.

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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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Three days until Deep Impact's encounter with Hartley 2

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/01 01:27 CDT

The week is finally here: Deep Impact flies past Hartley 2, the smallest comet yet to be visited by a spacecraft, on Thursday, November 4 at 13:50 UTC.

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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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Jupiter has lost a belt!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/10 05:22 CDT

Via Daniel Fischer's Tweet about a blog entry by Astro BobI learned of something which should be obvious to anyone who has trained even a rather small telescope on Jupiter over the past few weeks: one of its iconic stripes is just plain gone.

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Mars and a moonbow

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/21 04:00 CST

Moonbows represent the same phenomenon as rainbows, it's just that the light from the Sun has reflected off of the Moon first before it's separated into its colors by the myriad tiny water droplets in the cloud.

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