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The YORP Effect and Bennu

Dante Lauretta • December 11, 2014

The YORP effect is a phenomenon that affects the rotation rate and pole orientation of an asteroid. YORP is an acronym that combines four scientist’s names: Yarkovsky, O’Keefe, Radzievskii, and Paddack.

Join me in Washington, D.C. for a post-Thanksgiving Celebration of Planetary Exploration

Casey Dreier • November 26, 2014

See Bill Nye, Europa scientist Kevin Hand, and Mars scientist Michael Meyer speak at a special event on Capitol Hill on December 2nd.

The Science of “Bennu’s Journey”

Dante Lauretta • November 25, 2014

The OSIRIS-REx project released Bennu’s Journey, a movie describing one possible history of our target asteroid – Bennu. The animation is among the most highly detailed productions created by Goddard’s Conceptual Image Laboratory.

Don't Miss This Great New Video About Europa

Casey Dreier • November 21, 2014

JPL released a slick new video highlighting the significance of Europa, the moon of Jupiter with more liquid water than the Earth.

Report from Darmstadt: Philae status and early Rosetta results from DPS

Emily Lakdawalla • November 11, 2014

I'm reporting live from the press room at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. There's little news on Philae yet except that its status is good. Meanwhile, Rosetta scientists presented their first early comet results at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Tucson, Arizona, which I watched from afar using Twitter.

GSA 2014: The puzzle of Gale crater's basaltic sedimentary rocks

Emily Lakdawalla • October 23, 2014

At the Geological Society of America conference this week, Curiosity scientists dug into the geology of Gale crater and shared puzzling results about the nature of the rocks that the rover has found there.

Collaboration Between OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa2

Dante Lauretta • October 20, 2014

The University of Arizona (UA) hosted representatives of the Hayabusa2 asteroid sample return mission to explore opportunities for collaboration with the OSIRIS-REx team.

Video Introduction to Comet Siding Spring’s Near Miss at Mars

Bruce Betts • October 13, 2014

On October 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring will fly very close to Mars. Here’s a 5 minute video introduction to get you up to speed on this planetary near miss, and some suggestions on how to find out more now, during, and after the encounter.

What did Dawn learn at Vesta?

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2014

It's now been two years since Dawn wrapped up its work at the second-largest asteroid. What else did we get from the Vesta encounter besides great photos? Recently, I asked Dawn's deputy project scientist, Carol Raymond, for help in summarizing a few of the big things Dawn taught us.

Two Eclipses in October

Bruce Betts • October 06, 2014

October 2014 brings big sky fun: a total lunar and partial solar eclipse, both visible from North America. The lunar eclipse will also be visible from most areas around the Pacific Ocean. Here is info on how to observe these eclipses.

Preparing for A-MAVEN Science!

Karl Battams • October 03, 2014

How can we use MAVEN to learn about Comet Siding Spring, passing very close by Mars this month?

All That is Known About Bennu

Dante Lauretta • September 24, 2014

The OSIRIS-REx Design Reference Asteroid (DRA) document is now available to the public. The DRA is a compilation of all that is known about the OSIRIS-REx mission target, asteroid (101955) Bennu.

SHARAD: Delving Deep at Mars

Bill Dunford • September 22, 2014

Some of Mars' most important secrets are hiding beneath the surface.

Three Major Volcanic Eruptions Observed On Io in the Span of Two Weeks

Jason Perry • August 12, 2014

Jason Perry brings us a report on recent ground-based observations that shed new light on the most powerful of Io’s volcanic eruptions.

Comet Siding Spring: Risk Assessment

Karl Battams • August 07, 2014

On October 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring is going to have an extremely close encounter with the planet Mars. The bottom line: it seems most likely that our Martian spacecraft will be absolutely fine.

The Osirian Asteroid Family

Dante Lauretta • July 28, 2014

The asteroid community recently gathered in Helsinki, Finland for the 12th Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors Conference. As this meeting showed, one of the hottest topics in asteroid science is the study of asteroid families.

On the masses and motions of mini-moons: Pandora's not a "shepherd," but Prometheus still is

Emily Lakdawalla • July 04, 2014

As Cassini celebrates 10 years at Saturn, we're beginning to see its long-term observations of Saturnian moons bear fruit. A surprising new result: While Prometheus exerts control over the F ring and Atlas, Pandora -- long thought to be a shepherd of the F ring -- does not.

Hubble to the rescue! The last-ditch effort to discover a Kuiper belt target for New Horizons

Emily Lakdawalla • June 17, 2014

Will New Horizons have a mission after Pluto? Ground-based searches have failed to turn up anything that New Horizons can reach. Now Hubble is joining the search, but time is running out: a discovery must be made within the next two months.

The OSIRIS-REx Design Reference Mission

Dante Lauretta • June 12, 2014

This week the OSIRIS-REx team gathered at the Lockheed Martin facility in Denver to perform a “Design Reference Mission (DRM)” walkthrough. The DRM is basically the battle plan for OSIRIS-REx for accomplishing our goal of returning pristine samples from asteroid Bennu.

How CRISM picks the pixels that guide Opportunity's travels

Emily Lakdawalla • June 05, 2014

How scientists are working with CRISM, an aging but still exceptional spectrometer on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, to find the rocks where Opportunity's work will tell the story of ancient water on Mars.

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