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.
An exciting new option to enhance NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid mission has been proposed by Steve Chesley at JPL. The ISIS spacecraft would impact asteroid Bennu to expose its interior structure to OSIRIS-REx.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.