According to a Chinese spaceflight forum, Chang'E program chief scientist Ouyang Ziyuan recently announced that Chang'E 2 has departed the Sun-Earth L2 point and is now en route to asteroid 4179 Toutatis!
Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/05/08 03:43 CDT
Evidence continues to pile up that the Rio Vichada structure in Colombia is indeed the largest impact structure in South America.
With a new CCD camera configured to shoot rapid, short exposures bought with a Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO Grant we caught near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14.
Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/03/06 10:18 CST
A new installment of our "Snapshots" video series examines the threat posed by asteroids on collision courses with our home planet. Emily Lakdawalla explains why it's so important to find, understand and learn to deflect these potential civilization enders.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/11/16 02:58 CST
Last week JPL released two animations of asteroid 2005 YU55 made from the radar data acquired by Goldstone's 70-meter radio dish.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/11/09 06:52 CST
Anticipating the close flyby of asteroid 2005 YU55 yesterday, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory invited media to tour Goldstone, one of three facilities that make up NASA's Deep Space Network. I've always wanted to see these massive radio dishes up close, so I jumped at the chance!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/11/08 03:45 CST
Unless you've been living under a rock you've probably heard that there is a relatively large (400-meter) asteroid passing closer to Earth than the orbit of the Moon today -- in just a few minutes, as a matter of fact.
Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2011/09/19 11:55 CDT
I spent much of the past week attending the Caltech Space Challenge, a student-organized international competition to design a human mission to a Near-Earth asteroid. It was a great week, and one of the most positive, upbeat and hopeful programs I have participated in concerning the future of space exploration.
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.
Posted by Jaime Nomen on 2011/08/22 04:41 CDT
In spite of some bad weather conditions during the first part of this year, the new camera bought with funds from a Planetary Society Shoemaker Near Earth Object grant helped us to discover and confirm ten new near-Earth objects.
Posted by Bruce Betts on 2011/05/10 05:59 CDT
One nice thing about the Planetary Defense conference is that I not only get to talk with the NEO community of experts all in one place and hear their new science, but I also get updates on projects the Planetary Society has funded.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/13 11:42 CST
A terrific set of Goldstone radar images of a good-sized near-Earth asteroids named 2010 JL33 was posted to the JPL website yesterday. They also posted a movie version but something about these pixelated radar image series absolutely begs for them to be displayed as an old-school animated GIF, so I made one.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/08 01:31 CDT
Most of you have probably heard by now of two small asteroids, both in the neighborhood of 10 meters in diameter, recently discovered on trajectories that pass unusually close to Earth.
Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2010/08/29 11:58 CDT
Visualization can help the brain comprehend what words and numbers can struggle to covey. There's a YouTube video posted by "szyzyg" making the rounds right now that drives that point home.
Posted by Bruce Betts on 2010/08/11 04:45 CDT
It's day 2 at NASA's Exploration of Near Earth Objects (NEO) Objectives workshop (ExploreNOW).
Posted by Bruce Betts on 2010/08/10 03:14 CDT
This week, Jennifer Vaughn and I are representing the Planetary Society at NASA's Exploration of Near-Earth Objects (NEO) Objectives Workshop, or ExploreNOW.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/29 02:04 CDT
That's a bit of an overdramatic title, but it's true that the most efficient way for us to reduce the risk we face from asteroids that have a very small chance of hitting Earth in the future is to determine their orbits more precisely.