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Steins, a jewel in the asteroid belt

Emily Lakdawalla • June 13, 2012

A notice of some new names for features on asteroid 2867 Steins inspired me to dig up the data set from the September 5, 2008 Rosetta flyby and explore it to see what it contained.

Cheat sheets for Vesta's craters and Dawn's Vesta timeline

Emily Lakdawalla • April 19, 2012

I made myself a cheat sheet to many of Vesta's distinctive-looking craters, and also wrote down a list of the major dates in the timeline of Dawn's exploration of Vesta.

Pretty Pictures: Amazing Asteroid Lutetia

Emily Lakdawalla • April 10, 2012

A long-awaited data set is finally public (well, long-awaited by me, at least). The Rosetta team has now published their data from the July 10, 2010 flyby of asteroid (21) Lutetia. This data set is absolutely stunning, and my friends in the amateur image processing community wasted no time in creating art out of it.

La Sagra Observatory discovers very near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14

Jaime Nomen • March 27, 2012

With a new CCD camera configured to shoot rapid, short exposures bought with a Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO Grant we caught near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14.

New "Snapshot From Space": Defending Our Planet

Mat Kaplan • March 06, 2012

A new installment of our "Snapshots" video series examines the threat posed by asteroids on collision courses with our home planet. Emily Lakdawalla explains why it's so important to find, understand and learn to deflect these potential civilization enders.

More Dawn Vesta approach images: First color views

Emily Lakdawalla • February 17, 2012

On June 30, Dawn stopped thrusting for a full Vestian day -- five hours and 20 minutes -- and just watched the asteroid rotate. But unlike the previous observations, they used all of Dawn's color filters to acquire the best-ever color photos of the lumpy world.

Dawn images of Vesta! Released!! For everyone!!!

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2012

Some time in the last few days, the Dawn team made public the first preliminary version of the first release of their data from the Vesta phase of their mission.

Notes on Dawn at Vesta from the 2011 American Geophysical Union meeting

Emily Lakdawalla • December 08, 2011

A report on the press briefing and talks from the Fall 2011 American Geophyisical Union meeting about the data on Vesta collected so far by Dawn.

Our friendly neighborhood asteroid, 2005 YU55 (an animation)

Emily Lakdawalla • November 16, 2011

Last week JPL released two animations of asteroid 2005 YU55 made from the radar data acquired by Goldstone's 70-meter radio dish.

Goldstone: Desert outpost performs radio imaging of close-passing asteroid 2005 YU55

Emily Lakdawalla • November 09, 2011

Anticipating the close flyby of asteroid 2005 YU55 yesterday, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory invited media to tour Goldstone, one of three facilities that make up NASA's Deep Space Network. I've always wanted to see these massive radio dishes up close, so I jumped at the chance!

Live feeds on asteroid 2005 YU55 as it passes Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • November 08, 2011

Unless you've been living under a rock you've probably heard that there is a relatively large (400-meter) asteroid passing closer to Earth than the orbit of the Moon today -- in just a few minutes, as a matter of fact.

How radio telescopes get "images" of asteroids

Emily Lakdawalla • November 08, 2011

This is a repost of an article I wrote in April 2010; I thought it'd be useful reading for those of you interested in today's near-Earth flyby of asteroid 2005 YU55.

Science from Vesta at the Geological Society of America meeting

Emily Lakdawalla • October 24, 2011

I'm nearly two weeks late getting to this news but better late than never, right? There was a press briefing from the Dawn mission at the Geological Society of America (GSA) meeting on October 12.

Lovely pic of a recent crater on Vesta

Emily Lakdawalla • October 11, 2011

With little fanfare, the Dawn mission continues releasing a new picture from Vesta every day. This one is definitely my favorite among their recent releases, a closeup on one of Vesta's strange streaky bright craters.

Notes from Day 5 of the EPSC/DPS meeting: Saturn's storm, Phobos, and Lutetia

Emily Lakdawalla • October 07, 2011

Today was (is) the last day of the Division of Planetary Sciences / European Planetary Science Congress meeting in Nantes, France.

Brief notes from Day 2 of the DPS-EPSC meeting

Emily Lakdawalla • October 04, 2011

It's been a very full day at the DPS-EPSC 2011 joint meeting. My day was less full than it might have been, because I overslept and missed most of the morning's session. I really needed the rest though so I think it was probably for the best!

Some first impressions of EPSC-DPS meeting

Emily Lakdawalla • October 03, 2011

Today they turned on the scientific fire hose at the Division of Planetary Sciences / European Planetary Science Congress meeting happening here in Nantes, France. My brain already feels full and I still have four more days!

Video: Zooming around Vesta

Emily Lakdawalla • September 16, 2011

The Dawn team released today a nice little video that flies around a shape model of Vesta produced by DLR, the German Aerospace Corporation, who built and operate Dawn's camera.

Dawn's cryptic image release titles

Emily Lakdawalla • September 14, 2011

Every day's image release from the Dawn spacecraft shows something on Vesta that is weird and cool and difficult to explain. The images come out with very little information describing what is going on to make those weird landscapes.

Meeting today: The infelicitously named "SBAG"

Emily Lakdawalla • August 25, 2011

NASA funds regular meetings of scientists who work on different parts of the solar system to provide scientific input into NASA's future plans. These "analysis groups" are known by their acronyms, all of which sound kind of horrible, but none has quite as terrible-sounding an acronym as "SBAG," usually pronouced "ess-bag," the Small Bodies Assessment Group.

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