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Say "hi!" to asteroid -- actually, asteroids -- (285263) 1998 QE2

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/30 06:51 CDT | 8 comments

A large asteroid is passing reasonably close to Earth in a few hours, and astronomers at the great radio telescopes at Goldstone and Arecibo are zapping it. The latest discovery: QE2, like many asteroids, is a binary.

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Planetary Defense Conference 2013 Part 2
Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/05/29 05:25 CDT

Second part of a three part wrap up to April's Planetary Defense Conference: a report on Planetary Shoemaker NEO Grant related activities and people at the Planetary Defense Conference 2013

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Planetary Defense Conference 2013 Part 1
State of Research and Videos to Watch

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/05/24 05:29 CDT | 2 comments

First part of a 3 part wrap up to April's Planetary Defense Conference: a very brief review of the status of research in asteroid threat related fields based on the conference, report on special activities at the conference, and links to video and audio related to the conference.

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Asteroids – what you can do

Posted by Alex Karl on 2013/05/23 01:52 CDT | 2 comments

Partnering with our friends from The Planetary Society, the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), whose members hail from all over the globe, is bringing you an update on our activities and something you can join in on—at least if you are a student or young professional aged 18–35.

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Saving the Planet can be Exciting!
The Asteroid Emergency Response Tabletop Exercise at the Planetary Defense Conference

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/05/07 05:02 CDT

Planetary Radio for the week of May 6 visits the Planetary Defense Conference one last time to join a "tabletop" simulation of a killer asteroid threat.

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An Amazing Evening for Planetary Defense
Join us via Planetary Radio and complete video coverage.

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/04/23 07:12 CDT | 1 comment

Bill Nye, Bruce Betts, Mat Kaplan, Meteorite Man Geoffrey Notkin and stars of planetary science at the Planetary Defense Conference public event in Flagstaff.

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LPSC 2013: The Smaller They Are, The Better They Shake

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/25 08:04 CDT | 1 comment

Really cool movies from Jim Richardson propose to explain how the same physics of impact cratering can produce such differently-appearing surfaces as those of the Moon, large asteroids like Eros, and teeny ones like Itokawa.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: the Giant ALMA Observatory, and Asteroid Tracking

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/03/20 01:31 CDT

Bruce Betts, Mat Kaplan, and asteroid tracker Robert Holmes on the Planetary Society Weekly Google Hangout. Mat discussed and showed pictures from his trip to the giant ALMA observatory and we'll be joined by asteroid tracker extraordinaire, Robert Holmes.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: Being WISE about asteroids, comets, and brown dwarfs with Amy Mainzer

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/14 02:00 CDT

This week I'll be talking with NEOWISE principal investigator Amy Mainzer about moving objects that the WISE mission has spotted both inside and outside our solar system.

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Galileo's images of Gaspra

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/01 06:43 CST | 2 comments

Last week I trawled the archives to find all of Galileo's images of asteroid Ida; this week, I turned to Gaspra.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: Studying Asteroids from Earth with Andy Rivkin

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/28 01:25 CST | 5 comments

Emily Lakdawalla's guest this week was Applied Physics Laboratory asteroid astronomer Andy Rivkin. We talked about the menagerie of rocks in the asteroid belt, how many of them travel in pairs and triples, how some of them are surprisingly wet, and how much you can learn about asteroids using Earth-based telescopes.

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Galileo got so many more images of Ida than I realized

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/22 04:14 CST | 1 comment

While writing up the cruise-phase issues of the Galileo Messenger a couple of weeks ago, I came across a fuzzy montage of images of Ida that I had not seen before. So I decided to spend some time digging into the Planetary Data System to see if there were more images to be found. I found lots and lots pictures that I'd never seen before!

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Webcast Tonight! Planetary Scientist and Society President Jim Bell
Watch It Live or Later On Demand

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/02/20 07:59 CST

Professor Bell's topic is "Exploring Mars, the Moon, Asteroids, and Comets with Rovers and Landers," and there is no one better to talk about this subject.

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Why don't we have any photos of asteroid 2012 DA14 if it came so close?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/19 03:13 CST | 2 comments

A frequently-asked question last week was: if asteroid 2012 DA14 is coming so close to Earth, why hasn't anyone taken any pictures of it? Now that 2012 DA14 has whizzed past us, we do finally have some radar pictures of it, but they still may not satisfy everyone.

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Observing 2012 DA14

Posted by Edward Gomez on 2013/02/18 05:14 CST | 4 comments

Mostly the Universe stays unchanged for hundreds, thousands or even millions of years. There are some cases however when some things change really rapidly. Recently I observed one of these rapidly changing, transient phenomena, as asteroid called 2012 DA14. I work for Las Cumbres Observatory and we have been trying to observe this asteroid since 5 February.

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BREAKING: Meteor fall causes damage in Russia [UPDATED]

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/15 01:44 CST | 13 comments

A large meteor streaked through the skies above Russia on the morning of Feb 15th, causing a deafening sonic boom that shattered windows and injured hundreds.

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Galileo Messengers: Cruise to Venus, Earth, Gaspra, Earth, Ida, and almost to Jupiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/05 08:40 CST | 2 comments

It's taken me a year to face the emotionally draining task of reading and writing about Galileo's cruise phase as chronicled in the mission's newsletters.

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More Chang'E 2 Toutatis flyby images

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/20 09:52 CST | 6 comments

Last week at a meeting of NASA's Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG), Han Li of the Chinese Academy of Sciences gave a lengthy presentation on Chang'E 2. Her presentation included a new sequence of photos from the December 13 Toutatis flyby.

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My ever-popular asteroids-and-comets montage, now in color, with bonus Toutatis

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/18 04:26 CST | 9 comments

My collage of all the asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft is probably the single most popular image I have ever posted on this blog. I've now updated it to be in color and to include Toutatis.

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