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Blog Archive

 

A Spin Through the Inner Solar System

Bill Dunford • February 24, 2014

Animated maps of the planets show the spheres in motion.

Mission to a Metallic World: A Discovery Proposal to Fly to the Asteroid Psyche

Van Kane • February 19, 2014

Imagine flying deep within the asteroid belt to study the most unreachable location in the solar system: the deep core of a terrestrial world.

Intro Astronomy Class 1: Tour of the Solar System

Bruce Betts • February 11, 2014

Take a tour of the Solar System in the video of class 1 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Fly your name to an asteroid!

Bruce Betts • January 15, 2014

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.

Planetary Radio: NEOWISE PI Amy Mainzer

Mat Kaplan • January 01, 2014

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

2013: An OSIRIS-REx Retrospective

Dante Lauretta • December 31, 2013

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.

Asteroid Minerva finds its magical weapons in the sky

Franck Marchis • December 26, 2013

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

Watch this with your kids: Asteroid Fact versus Fiction

Emily Lakdawalla • December 12, 2013

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.

Imaging results from the Chang'e 2 Toutatis flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • November 21, 2013

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.

New opportunity to name an asteroid!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 24, 2013

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.

DPS 2013: The fascination of tiny worlds

Emily Lakdawalla • October 17, 2013

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."

Europe Will Select Its Next Major Science Mission in November

Van Kane • September 25, 2013

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

Mission Leader Bruce Jakosky's MAVEN Prepares for Mars

Mat Kaplan • September 17, 2013

Pay attention! This Mars orbiter, headed for launch in November, is a terrific science mission, as Mat Kaplan learned in a recent workshop, and in this week's Planetary Radio.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • September 16, 2013

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

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

Emily Lakdawalla • September 16, 2013

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.

Dawn Journal: Distant interplanetary adventurer

Marc Rayman • August 30, 2013

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.

Producing global views of Vesta from archival data

Björn Jónsson • August 21, 2013

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

Asteroid Telescope First Light

Bruce Betts • August 16, 2013

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

Determining Near Earth Asteroids’ Properties from the California Desert

Bruce Betts • August 05, 2013

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • July 30, 2013

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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