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Asteroid 2867 Steins

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/11 02:01 CST

This description of asteroid 2867 Steins is based upon an article published in the January 8, 2010 issue of Science by H. Uwe Keller and numerous coauthors and on a related press release.

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Triple asteroid 1994 CC rotation animation

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/06 10:39 CDT

From the "just plain cool" department. I love animations of planetary images and I love radar images of asteroids -- so this animation is doubly cool.

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Hooray for Hayabusa!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/02/04 07:18 CST

According to JAXA (the Japanese space agency), poor little Hayabusa has successfully restarted its ion engine and has resumed powered flight today. Hooray! This is good news for Hayabusa's eventual return to Earth.

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New Horizons tracks an asteroid

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/06/15 03:06 CDT

New Horizons is spending the summer traversing the asteroid belt. I haven't written a lot about New Horizons lately because the mission has been going so uneventfully well. But now I've got something to write about: data!!

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LPSC: Friday: Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/03/20 04:54 CST

The audience was rapt as Project Manager Jun'ichiro Kawaguchi stood up to give an introduction to the Hayabusa spacecraft and described the saga of the mission to date.

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Big News for Hayabusa: It wasn't hovering, it landed!!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/11/23 07:21 CST

Remember how Hayabusa was virtually still for 30 minutes? JAXA is now saying that Hayabusa actually touched down -- and more than that, they may even have a sample.

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Closer still to Itokawa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/11/19 08:46 CST

Hayabusa reached an altitude of about 560 meters above Hayabusa at 17:30 UTC. And at 18:00 UTC they are at 500 meters. This is still farther above the asteroid than the asteroid is big...there is still a long way to go before Hayabusa touches down...

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Getting ready for Hayabusa's touchdown

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/11/18 01:40 CST

In a further update on Hayabusa's status, we have been contacted by Kazuya Yoshida of the Space Robotics Laboratory at Tohuku University. Yoshida reports that the touchdown is now planned to take place "in early morning of November 20 (Sunday) JST", which would make it late Saturday evening UTC, or Saturday midday here in California.

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Another Hayabusa update: small delay

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/11/17 08:05 CST

There has been a delay of just about a day in JAXA's plans for landing Hayabusa on Itokawa.

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Amazing Hayabusa images

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/11/10 09:36 CST

These photos pretty much speak for themselves. They are amazing. Hayabusa saw its own shadow on Itokawa, and took a photo of the released target marker.

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A piece of a new picture from Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/10/04 06:21 CDT

The Hayabusa mission has proven to be a bit of a tease -- they were releasing lots of images to the public as they approached asteroid Itokawa, but once they arrived, the image releases shut down entirely. There is finally a little postage stamp of an image captured by Hayabusa at "home position," only 7 kilometers from the asteroid, compared here to a picture taken from "gate position," 20 kilometers away.

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An animation of Itokawa from Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/09/07 01:45 CDT

This lovely animation of Itokawa represents 20 individual images taken between 18:10 on September 5 and 00:30 on September 6, from a distance of less than 700 kilometers away.

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Close Your Left Eye, Then Your Right: Simultaneous Observations of Asteroid 4179 Toutatis from Two Chilean Telescopes Demonstrate Parallax

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2004/09/29 12:00 CDT

This morning, asteroid 4179 Toutatis was so close to Earth that simultaneous observations from two telescopes in the same country could show parallax that is obvious even to the least experienced observer. The two telescopes belong to The European Southern Observatory and are located at La Silla and Paranal in Chile

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Very Close Approach by Asteroid 4179 Toutatis: It's Not a Crisis, It's an Opportunity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2004/09/27 12:00 CDT

On Wednesday, September 29, Earth will dodge a cannonball: the Near-Earth Asteroid known as 4179 Toutatis will buzz by at a distance only four times the distance from the Earth to the Moon -- about one and a half million kilometers, or about a million miles. But, as the wisdom goes, "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades; Toutatis' flyby will have no effect whatsoever on us.

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