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Why don't we have any photos of asteroid 2012 DA14 if it came so close?

Emily Lakdawalla • February 19, 2013

A frequently-asked question last week was: if asteroid 2012 DA14 is coming so close to Earth, why hasn't anyone taken any pictures of it? Now that 2012 DA14 has whizzed past us, we do finally have some radar pictures of it, but they still may not satisfy everyone.

Vermin of the Sky

Louis D. Friedman • February 19, 2013

Executive Director Emeritus Louis Friedman writes about Asteroid programs of The Planetary Society.

Observing 2012 DA14

Edward Gomez • February 18, 2013

Mostly the Universe stays unchanged for hundreds, thousands or even millions of years. There are some cases however when some things change really rapidly. Recently I observed one of these rapidly changing, transient phenomena, as asteroid called 2012 DA14. I work for Las Cumbres Observatory and we have been trying to observe this asteroid since 5 February.

The Sky Was Falling! A Meteoric Airburst Over Russia and the Encounter with 2012 DA14

Mat Kaplan • February 18, 2013

SEE IT NOW: The Planetary Society's CEO, Bill Nye the Science Guy, joined Director of Projects Bruce Betts for a live webcast as 2012 DA14, a 45-meter asteroid, was passing Earth. Bill and Bruce also marveled at video of the meteor burst high over a city in Russia.

BREAKING: Meteor fall causes damage in Russia [UPDATED]

Emily Lakdawalla • February 15, 2013

A large meteor streaked through the skies above Russia on the morning of Feb 15th, causing a deafening sonic boom that shattered windows and injured hundreds.

Guide to Asteroid 2012 DA14 Super Close Approach

Bruce Betts • February 04, 2013

The 45 meter asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass closer to Earth than geostationary satellites on Feb. 15, 2013. Learn about the asteroid and what to expect from the close approach.

Planetary Society Hangout: Jan 24th, 2013 - Hunting Asteroids with Gary Hug

Casey Dreier • January 24, 2013

Gary Hug is an asteroid hunter. He scans the skies every night looking for new near-Earth objects and refining orbital measurements for existing ones. Join Casey Dreier and Dr. Bruce Betts as they interview Gary Hug about his work and his recent discovery of a new NEO on January 7th.

More Chang'E 2 Toutatis flyby images

Emily Lakdawalla • January 20, 2013

Last week at a meeting of NASA's Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG), Han Li of the Chinese Academy of Sciences gave a lengthy presentation on Chang'E 2. Her presentation included a new sequence of photos from the December 13 Toutatis flyby.

Shoemaker Winner Hug Discovers Near Earth Asteroid 2013 AS27

Bruce Betts • January 10, 2013

Using a Planetary Society provided camera, Gary Hug in Kansas, USA discovered Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2013 AS27 on Jan. 7, 2013. Shoemaker winner Bob Holmes provided the first follow up observations of this 140m-310m wide asteroid.

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.

Chang'E 2 imaging of Toutatis succeeded beyond my expectations!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2012

The Chang'E 2 mission flyby of Toutatis succeeded in acquiring images. Oh my goodness, did they succeed. These, in combination with the incredible radar images still being acquired from Goldstone and innumerable optical observations, make Toutatis one of the best-studied asteroids in the solar system.

Asteroid 4179 Toutatis' upcoming encounters with Earth and Chang'E 2

Emily Lakdawalla • December 06, 2012

Near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis will be passing within 7 million kilometers of Earth on December 12. Both radio telescopes and the Chang'E 2 spacecraft will be acquiring images.

Calling (Really Serious) Asteroid Hunters

Bruce Betts • November 19, 2012

I am happy to announce a new call for proposals for The Planetary Society’s Gene Shoemaker Near Earth Object (NEO) grant program, which is celebrating its 15th Anniversary. Proposals are due Feb. 4, 2013.

PlanetVac: Sucking Up Planetary Regolith

Bruce Betts • October 30, 2012

Learn about the Planetary Society’s newest project: PlanetVac, with Honeybee Robotics, aims to prototype and test in a huge vacuum chamber a new way to sample planetary surfaces that could be used for sample return or for in situ instruments.

DPS 2012: Future impact risks

Emily Lakdawalla • October 24, 2012

Continuing my writeup of notes from last week's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting: presentations on the risks of future asteroid impacts. How much risk do we face, and what are the appropriate actions to take in the face of that risk?

Shoemaker NEO Winner Finds Close Fly By Asteroid

Bruce Betts • October 02, 2012

Gary Hug used his Shoemaker NEO grant provided camera to find 2012 SY49 which flew by Earth at about two lunar distances last week. The tens of meters wide asteroid is a low-probability possible Earth impactor in the future.

Saving the World: Established 1997

Bruce Betts • September 21, 2012

The Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO grants celebrate their 15th anniversary of helping to find and track near Earth asteroids. Here's a quick review of the program, and updates on our four multiple-grant winners.

Zapping Rocks with Lasers to Save the World

Bruce Betts • June 25, 2012

The Planetary Society Laser Bees project in Scotland is studying in the lab a potential new technique for deflecting dangerous asteroids: laser ablation.

Hunting Asteroids from a Field in Kansas

Bruce Betts • June 15, 2012

TPS Shoemaker NEO Grant Winner Gary Hug hunts near Earth objects from his back yard in Kansas. NPR's Morning Edition picked up on this fascinating story.

Update on yesterday's post about Chang'E 2 going to Toutatis

Emily Lakdawalla • June 15, 2012

I have a couple of updates on my post from yesterday: confirmation that Chang'E 2 is indeed gone from L2, and more specifics on encounter dates with Toutatis.

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