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Meeting today: The infelicitously named "SBAG"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/25 01:45 CDT

NASA funds regular meetings of scientists who work on different parts of the solar system to provide scientific input into NASA's future plans. These "analysis groups" are known by their acronyms, all of which sound kind of horrible, but none has quite as terrible-sounding an acronym as "SBAG," usually pronouced "ess-bag," the Small Bodies Assessment Group.

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Comet Garradd in 3D (sort of)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/12 12:52 CDT

Amateur astronomer Patrick Wiggins sent me this neat little animation of comet Garradd moving against background stars through an hour's worth of observing. I'm not any kind of astronomer but if I were I think I would get a kick out of looking at things that appear to move within one night of watching -- asteroids, comets, Jupiter's spots. I'm impatient that way.

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Rosetta has entered its long sleep

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/06/14 12:25 CDT

One big space event that I missed while I was on vacation was Rosetta's entry into hibernation. Rosetta is the biggest interplanetary spacecraft that has been launched by ESA, and it has the groundbreaking goal of entering orbit around a comet and dropping a lander onto it.

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The scale of our solar system

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/02 11:26 CDT

Space.com has taken advantage of the infinitely scrollable nature of Web pages to produce a really cool infographic on the scales of orbital distances in the solar system.

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LPSC 2011: Kirby Runyon on Mars, the Moon, Hartley 2, and Ganymede

Posted by Kirby Runyon on 2011/03/15 01:57 CDT

Kirby Runyon, a second-year grad student at Temple University, offered to send me some writeups of selected presentations from last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, and I enthusiastically agreed.

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LPSC 2011: Day 3: Deep Impact at Hartley 2

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/10 01:17 CST

Wednesday's sessions at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) on the Deep Impact flyby of Hartley 2 were one of two that I was most looking forward to, the other being this morning's talks on Hayabusa's samples from Itokawa, about which I don't yet have any notes. I am again grateful to Franck Marchis and Andy Rivkin for sending me their notes on Hartley 2.

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365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Stardust at Tempel 1

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.

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Stardust update: last image taken today

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."

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Sounds of Stardust, and a cool morphed Tempel 1 video

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.

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Some early scientific impressions of Stardust's Tempel 1 flyby

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.

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Highlights from today's Stardust Tempel 1 press briefing

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.

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

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.

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High-res images of Tempel 1 from Stardust now arriving

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.

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

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!

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

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.

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Stardust update: Almost to Tempel 1

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/10 11:06 CST

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).

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MSL sites, comet outbursts, and other stuff

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/10/25 11:01 CDT

The latest on MSL landing sites, a look at comet outbursts, and links to other stuff.

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Deep Impact Sets a New Course as Tempel 1 Returns to Normal

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.

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