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.
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.
Björn Jónsson produces beautiful color and 3D global mosaics of Vesta from Dawn's archival data.
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.
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.
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.
Planetary Society Hangout: Arkyd Telescopes, Planetary Resources, Chris Lewicki
Thursday, Jun 27, noon PDT/1900 UTC
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.
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.
Traveling from one alien world to another, Dawn is reliably powering its way through the main asteroid belt with its ion propulsion system. Vesta falls farther and farther behind as the spacecraft gently and patiently reshapes its orbit around the sun, aiming for a 2015 rendezvous with dwarf planet Ceres.
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.
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
Planetary Defense Conference 2013 Part 1
State of Research and Videos to Watch
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.
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.
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.
An Amazing Evening for Planetary Defense
Join us via Planetary Radio and complete video coverage.
Bill Nye, Bruce Betts, Mat Kaplan, Meteorite Man Geoffrey Notkin and stars of planetary science at the Planetary Defense Conference public event in Flagstaff.