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Fly your name to an asteroid!

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/01/15 12:28 CST | 11 comments

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission and The Planetary Society invite people worldwide to fly their names on a round-trip ride to the target of the OSIRIS-REx mission, the asteroid Bennu.

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Planetary Radio: NEOWISE PI Amy Mainzer
NEOWISE has reawakened to discover more asteroids and comets. The mission leader thanks the amateur astronomers who follow up.

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2014/01/01 12:56 CST | 1 comment

NEOWISE has reawakened to discover many more asteroids and comets. The mission leader thanks the amateur astronomers who follow up on these discoveries.

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2013: An OSIRIS-REx Retrospective

Posted by Dante Lauretta on 2013/12/31 12:53 CST

2013 is drawing to a close, providing a nice opportunity to reflect on the outgoing year and look back at some of the highlights that we have experienced. Here are my top-20 OSIRIS-REx moments of this past year.

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Asteroid Minerva finds its magical weapons in the sky

Posted by Franck Marchis on 2013/12/26 11:48 CST

The International Astronomical Union has chosen the names Aegis and Gorgoneion for the two moons of the asteroid (93) Minerva. We decided to crowd-source the names, catching the attention of the public. Over the following year, I received a lot of emails with suggestions

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Watch this with your kids: Asteroid Fact versus Fiction

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/12/12 04:52 CST

A cute video from the OSIRIS-REx mission in the style of "AsapSCIENCE" uses a whiteboard and stop-motion animation to separate asteroid fact from fiction.

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Imaging results from the Chang'e 2 Toutatis flyby

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/11/21 01:23 CST | 3 comments

There is a paper in press at Icarus by Xiaoduan Zou and five coauthors that provides the first peer-reviewed publication I've seen on the results of the imaging experiment performed during the Chang'e 2 flyby of near-Earth asteroid (4179) Toutatis.

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New opportunity to name an asteroid!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/24 11:47 CDT | 6 comments

The Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) has just announced a new asteroid naming competition, open to anyone, so if you've ever wanted to name an asteroid, now's your chance.

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DPS 2013: The fascination of tiny worlds

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/17 02:27 CDT | 7 comments

In which I summarize Joe Veverka's Kuiper Prize talk at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting: "Small is NOT Dull: Unravelling the Complexity of Surface Processes on Asteroids, Comets and Small Satellites."

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Europe Will Select Its Next Major Science Mission in November

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/09/25 01:22 CDT | 2 comments

The European Space Agency will announce two major science missions this November, one of which is likely to be devoted to solar system exploration.

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Two new ways to browse Vesta: 2. Vesta Image data browser

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/16 10:57 CDT

A few weeks ago I received an email pointing me to a really cool new map-based browser to Dawn's Vesta image data.

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Two new ways to browse Vesta: 1. Vesta Low-Altitude Mapping Orbit (LAMO) Atlas

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/16 10:57 CDT

Last week was the European Planetary Science Congress in London, and there's been a lot of science news. One thing that caught my eye Friday was the publication of a new atlas for Vesta.

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Dawn journal: Distant interplanetary adventurer

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2013/08/30 04:28 CDT | 1 comment

Traveling confidently and alone, Dawn continues to make its way through the silent depths of the main asteroid belt. The interplanetary adventurer is on its long journey to the uncharted dwarf planet Ceres, by far the largest of all asteroids.

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Producing global views of Vesta from archival data

Posted by Björn Jónsson on 2013/08/21 12:18 CDT | 3 comments

Björn Jónsson produces beautiful color and 3D global mosaics of Vesta from Dawn's archival data.

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Asteroid Telescope First Light

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/08/16 03:04 CDT | 5 comments

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

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Determining Near Earth Asteroids’ Properties from the California Desert

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/08/05 05:04 CDT | 2 comments

Shoemaker NEO Grant winner Bob Stephens specializes in lightcurves of near Earth asteroids to determine their physical properties. Here is an update on recent progress using his 2013 Planetary Society grant. This is the first in a series of updates on Shoemaker NEO Grant winners.

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Pluto on the Eve of Exploration by New Horizons: A problem of cartography

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/07/30 05:44 CDT | 6 comments

Last Thursday at the Pluto Science Conference there was a surprising and interesting talk by Amanda Zangari, who pointed out a serious problem with Pluto cartography.

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Terra Cognita

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/07/29 01:18 CDT | 4 comments

Pushing back the frontier, and filling in the blank spaces on the map.

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Found a Killer Asteroid? Who Ya Gonna Call?
Tim Spahr of the Minor Planet Center on Planetary Radio

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/07/08 04:19 CDT

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.

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Planetary Society Hangout: Arkyd Telescopes, Planetary Resources, Chris Lewicki
Thursday, Jun 27, noon PDT/1900 UTC

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/06/27 11:15 CDT | 2 comments

We talked to Chris Lewicki, President of Planetary Resources, about their upcoming Arkyd telescopes including one for the public, asteroid mining, and more. Hosted by Bruce Betts with Jennifer Vaughn.

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How radar really works: The steps involved before getting an image

Posted by Alessondra Springmann on 2013/06/24 02:10 CDT | 3 comments

Arecibo Observatory is known for its 1000-foot diameter telescope and its appearances in Goldeneye and Contact. Aside from battling Bond villains and driving red diesel Jeeps around the telescope (grousing at the site director about the funding status of projects is optional), several hundred hours a year of telescope time at Arecibo go toward radar studies of asteroids.

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