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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.

Terra Cognita

Bill Dunford • July 29, 2013

Pushing back the frontier, and filling in the blank spaces on the map.

Found a Killer Asteroid? Who Ya Gonna Call?

Mat Kaplan • July 08, 2013

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

Bruce Betts • June 27, 2013

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.

How radar really works: The steps involved before getting an image

Alessondra Springmann • June 24, 2013

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.

Dawn Journal: Thrusting to a new personal best

Marc Rayman • June 02, 2013

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • May 30, 2013

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

Bruce Betts • May 29, 2013

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

Bruce Betts • May 24, 2013

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.

Asteroids – what you can do

Alex Karl • May 23, 2013

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.

ISIS: Blasting a Crater on Asteroid Bennu

Van Kane • May 16, 2013

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!

Mat Kaplan • May 07, 2013

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.

Dawn Journal: A low-orbit shortcut to Ceres

Marc Rayman • May 02, 2013

Marc Rayman's latest Dawn Journal explains why Dawn is currently closer to the Sun than both Ceres and Vesta.

An Amazing Evening for Planetary Defense

Mat Kaplan • April 23, 2013

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

Dawn Journal: Staying warm en route to Ceres

Marc Rayman • March 30, 2013

Marc Rayman's latest Dawn journal explains the temperature adjustments engineers make to save power and keep the spacecraft warm.

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