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Submit Predictions to Fly in an Asteroid Time Capsule

Bruce Betts • September 02, 2014

You have four weeks left (until September 30, 2014) to submit names to send to an asteroid, and now you can also separately submit space exploration predictions or images to send in a time capsule to and from that same asteroid. Both sets of information will fly etched on microchips on board the NASA OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

Dawn Journal: From HAMO to LAMO and Beyond

Marc Rayman • September 02, 2014

Marc Rayman updates us on the Dawn mission, its plans from high to low altitude mapping orbits at Ceres, and what the intrepid spacecraft will pursue next.

Dark mountain on Vesta: Aricia Tholus

Emily Lakdawalla • July 28, 2014

Newly processed images of one of the more puzzling features on the surface of Vesta: a dark mountain named Aricia Tholus.

The Osirian Asteroid Family

Dante Lauretta • July 28, 2014

The asteroid community recently gathered in Helsinki, Finland for the 12th Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors Conference. As this meeting showed, one of the hottest topics in asteroid science is the study of asteroid families.

I've been asteroided! (274860) Emilylakdawalla

Emily Lakdawalla • July 16, 2014

What a great piece of news to receive upon returning home from vacation! There is now a small piece of the solar system named for me: asteroid 274860 has been formally named "Emilylakdawalla" by the International Astronomical Union. Here is everything I've been able to learn about my namesake asteroid.

Dawn Journal: Survey Orbit at Ceres

Marc Rayman • June 03, 2014

This month Dawn's mission director Marc Rayman continues the preview of how Dawn will explore Ceres, this time in its survey orbit.

The Planetary Society Supports NASA's Asteroid Initiative

Casey Dreier • May 27, 2014

The Planetary Society strongly supports NASA's asteroid initiative, including the goal of redirecting an asteroid to the vicinity of the Moon. But an independent cost estimate is needed, and needed soon.

New Horizons: Updates From the April 2014 Science Team Meeting

Simon Porter • May 07, 2014

New Horizons team member Simon Porter reports on the state of the mission and Pluto system science from the recent science team meeting at the Applied Physics Laboratory.

Asteroid Workshop Streamed Public Lectures This Week

Bruce Betts • May 05, 2014

There is an asteroid threat and space debris workshop in Scotland this week that Planetary Society support helped lead to, and that will include two public lectures you can tune into live.

Highlights From OSIRIS-REx Science Team Meeting #6

Dante Lauretta • April 30, 2014

The OSIRIS-REx Science Team gathered at the University of Arizona from April 22–24, 2014 for their sixth meeting. Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta discusses a few of the highlights.

Green Bank Telescope Helps Out an Old Friend

Tania Burchell • April 28, 2014

The Green Bank Telescope has been called into emergency service to play radar ping-pong on a close-by asteroid with Arecibo Observatory’s 100-meter William E. Gordon radio telescope.

Spitzer Space Telescope Observations of Bennu

Dante Lauretta • April 24, 2014

What can studying the thermal emission of Bennu with the Spitzer Space Telescope tell us about its physical properties?

Arecibo Observatory operational after repairs to fix earthquake damage

Alessondra Springmann • April 09, 2014

Early in the morning on January 13, 2014, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck beneath the Atlantic Ocean north of Puerto Rico, damaging Arecibo Observatory, the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope. The telescope is now operational after repairs and scientists have resumed observations. However, the future of Arecibo Observatory remains unclear due to funding uncertainties in the federal budget.

LPSC 2014: Water on...Vesta?

Emily Lakdawalla • March 21, 2014

At the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Jennifer Scully discussed possible water-carved gullies in an unusual location: within craters on Vesta. Water-carved gullies on Mars I can accept; but on an airless lumpy body? I was intrigued.

Intro Astronomy Class 7: Near Earth Asteroids and the Jupiter System

Bruce Betts • March 21, 2014

Examine the threat of near Earth asteroids and begin exploring the Jupiter System in this video of class 7 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Intro Astronomy Class 6: Mars (continued) and Asteroids

Bruce Betts • March 14, 2014

Continue exploring Mars and learn about asteroids in this video of class 6 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Pretty Picture: Three Wanderers

Emily Lakdawalla • March 12, 2014

With all the excitement happening on missions criscrossing the solar system, I often forget to enjoy the views of our solar system that we can achieve from home. Amateur astronomers don't make the same mistake. Here's a lovely photo that Stuart Atkinson sent me, captured last night from Kendal, England, showing four special wanderers.

[Updated] To Europa!...Slowly. First Impressions of NASA's New Budget Request

Casey Dreier • March 07, 2014

Europa may get a mission...eventually. We give our first take on the 2015 NASA Budget request. How does Planetary Exploration fare? Which projects were cancelled? Will NASA capture an asteroid? And most importantly, what can you do about it?

2015 will be the Year of the Dwarf Planet, and you need to tell people about it!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 05, 2014

I am very excited about 2015, more so than I have been about any year since I started working at The Planetary Society. Dawn will enter orbit at Ceres, and New Horizons, which will fly past Pluto and Charon. But if we want this kind of exploration to continue, I'm challenging you, dear readers, to tell the world why such non-planetary worlds are compelling places to go exploring.

Eyes and stopwatch are all that are needed to help measure an invisible asteroid

Ted Blank • March 03, 2014

Would you like to be part of one of the largest citizen-science efforts in the history of astronomy? The International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) invites you to join in the campaign to observe and time the best and brightest asteroid occultation ever predicted to occur over a populated area – and no telescope is required!

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