Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/15 02:37 CDT
Since the Galileo mission discovered tiny Dactyl circling Ida in 1993, quite a lot of asteroid systems have been found to be binary; there are even a few triples. So it's quite reasonable to guess that two of the biggest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta, might also have satellites.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/28 04:13 CDT
Saturn's raging northern storm has been watched since it began by amateur astronomers, and now Cassini is getting in to the act too. Presumably once astronomers realized the magnitude of what was going on, some of Earth's great observatories were also occasionally pointed at the ringed planet to watch the storm grow.
As part of a big, ongoing project to make a comparison chart of the dimensions and physical properties of solar system objects I've spent the morning tackling the difficult problem of summarizing the physical characteristics of the biggest things that are out there beyond Neptune.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/01 11:43 CST
Welcome 2011! I can't wait for what this year has in store. The prize for all of you who have enjoyed opening each door in the Planetary Society's 2010 advent calendar is one of the best views we can get of one of the biggest objects in the asteroid belt, Vesta.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/17 10:39 CST
Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, What's in a Science Meeting?, about what scientists do at big meetings like the Division of Planetary Sciences.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/25 11:18 CDT
An awful lot of the talks in the Pluto session on Tuesday morning, October 5, at the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting spent more time focusing on how bad weather conditions were during the astronomers' attempts to view Pluto as it occulted background stars than they did on any measurements or science that came out from the data.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/25 02:21 CDT
I am just drowning in data right now, and I couldn't be happier.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/02/04 02:17 CST
I just posted my writeup of today's press briefing on a new map of Pluto produced from Hubble images. The main conclusion was that Pluto has shown an astonishing amount of changes across its surface between 1994 and 2002 -- more, in fact, than any other solid surface in the solar system.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/02/02 01:25 CST
Hubble has caught an astonishing view of something that's never before been observed, the aftermath of a collision between two asteroids in the main belt.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/16 01:01 CST
There are two cool stories circulating today on the theme of discovering new places in the cosmos.