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Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 10: Trans Neptunian Objects including Pluto, KBOs, Comets

Bruce Betts • April 18, 2014

Explore the worlds beyond Neptune including Pluto, Kuiper Belt Objects and comets in this video of class 10 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

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."

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.

My ever-popular asteroids-and-comets montage, now in color, with bonus Toutatis

Emily Lakdawalla • December 18, 2012

My collage of all the asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft is probably the single most popular image I have ever posted on this blog. I've now updated it to be in color and to include Toutatis.

Brief notes from Day 2 of the DPS-EPSC meeting

Emily Lakdawalla • October 04, 2011

It's been a very full day at the DPS-EPSC 2011 joint meeting. My day was less full than it might have been, because I overslept and missed most of the morning's session. I really needed the rest though so I think it was probably for the best!

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Stardust at Tempel 1

Emily Lakdawalla • February 28, 2011

Yesterday the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Stardust at Tempel 1: The First Second Trip to a Comet.

Stardust update: last image taken today

Emily Lakdawalla • February 24, 2011

According to the Stardust website, the spacecraft has continued taking navigational camera images of Tempel 1 since last Monday's flyby. But "This will end with a Navcam calibration that will take place [today]. This will be the end of the official Tempel 1 encounter activities. Planning is under way for the decommissioning of the spacecraft."

Sounds of Stardust, and a cool morphed Tempel 1 video

Emily Lakdawalla • February 18, 2011

Here's two more items from Tuesday's flyby of comet Tempel 1 by the Stardust spacecraft to add to my previous roundup of Tempel 1 data. The first represents data from a dust counting instrument, portrayed as sound, and the second is a terrific morph animation of the flyby produced by Daniel Macháček.

Some early scientific impressions of Stardust's Tempel 1 flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • February 16, 2011

I've spent a day with the Stardust images from Tempel 1, and had a chat with co-investigator Jessica Sunshine, so here are a bunch of images with some preliminary scientific commentary.

Highlights from today's Stardust Tempel 1 press briefing

Emily Lakdawalla • February 15, 2011

It was a very happy science team at this afternoon's press briefing following the Stardust encounter with Tempel 1.

Quick-and-dirty animation of Stardust Tempel 1 images through closest approach

Emily Lakdawalla • February 15, 2011

Here's a quick-and-dirty animated GIF of the 39 images of Tempel 1 that have arrived on Earth so far from Stardust. I've put a big watermark on this animation because it's not a final product.

High-res images of Tempel 1 from Stardust now arriving

Emily Lakdawalla • February 15, 2011

I really didn't expect these images to look so good! I'd prepared myself for blurry images and a lot of squinting to try to match up features in pictures between Deep Impact and Stardust views of Tempel 1, but in fact the resemblance is obvious and you can clearly see that they successfully imaged the area in which Deep Impact's Impactor craft collided with the comet.

First image from Stardust! ...but a delay for the close-approach ones

Emily Lakdawalla • February 15, 2011

Here it is, the first image from Stardust of Tempel 1 during the close-approach phase!

Stardust flies by Tempel 1 in 5 hours, and I'll be watching!

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2011

Stardust is very close to the last major act of its mission: the flyby of Tempel 1, which will take place at 20:40 PST (04:40 UTC). Here's a summary of the recent and current status of the mission, and how to follow the events over the next 24 hours.

Stardust update: Almost to Tempel 1

Emily Lakdawalla • February 10, 2011

We're coming up on the final days of Stardust's approach to Tempel 1. The flyby takes place on February 15 at 04:56 UTC (February 14 at 20:56 PST).

Stardust update: Tempel 1 Ahoy!

Emily Lakdawalla • January 26, 2011

It is with great relief that I now report that JPL announced this evening the sighting of Tempel 1 by Stardust, a mere month before the planned flyby.

Stardust update: Tempel 1 not yet spotted by spacecraft, hopefully next week

Emily Lakdawalla • January 22, 2011

A new update has been posted to the Stardust website: The spacecraft continues to operate as expected and all subsystems are healthy on approach to comet Tempel 1.

Stardust prepares for first second look at a comet: Tempel 1 on February 14

Emily Lakdawalla • January 19, 2011

A press briefing was held at NASA Headquarters this morning to preview the planned February 14 encounter by Stardust with Tempel 1. There aren't often lots of questions from media after these "preview" briefings, but today there were zero. That's not good.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • January 12, 2011

Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011, about what to look forward to in solar system exploration this year.

Stardust mission update: 38 days to Tempel 1

Emily Lakdawalla • January 07, 2011

Stardust is healthy after performing a "cold boot" to clear a memory address problem (a "memory address latch-up") that occurred late last year and caused the spacecraft to go into safe mode three times.

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