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."
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 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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/28 11:45 CST
Yesterday the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Stardust at Tempel 1: The First Second Trip to a Comet.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/24 05:50 CST
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."
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/18 01:26 CST
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/16 03:20 CST
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/15 03:10 CST
It was a very happy science team at this afternoon's press briefing following the Stardust encounter with Tempel 1.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/15 11:05 CST
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/15 10:09 CST
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/15 02:25 CST
Here it is, the first image from Stardust of Tempel 1 during the close-approach phase!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/14 04:42 CST
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/22 03:13 CST
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/19 02:53 CST
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/12 10:32 CST
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/07 10:25 CST
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/20 05:53 CDT
With its mission at Tempel 1 over, the Deep Impact spacecraft has altered its course in order to allow a future mission at another comet.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/07/12 11:00 CDT
When Deep Impact crashed into the nucleus of Tempel 1 at 23,000 miles per hour on July 4, it sent a huge, bright cloud of stuff upward and outward from the comet, providing a spectacular image that is already assured a place in the space history books, and may well be seared into the brains of all those who watched the event.