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From the Ground and from Space, New Planetary Systems Unveiled

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2010/08/27 02:32 CDT

Two nearly simultaneous announcements by scientists that they have detected entire planetary system deep in space have set the astronomical community abuzz.

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The August 20, 2010 Jupiter fireball -- and the March 5, 1979 one

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/24 11:36 CDT

Following up on the story I first posted on August 22, the Jupiter impact fireball first noticed by Japanese amateur astronomer Masayuki Tachikawa has been independently confirmed by two other Japanese astronomers.

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Yet another Jupiter impact!? August 20, seen from Japan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/22 05:03 CDT

This may be a very common event after all: another optical flash has been observed on Jupiter, again from an observer far east of the Greenwich meridian, though it was not Anthony Wesley (for once).

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2008 LC15, the first Trojan asteroid discovered in Neptune's L5 point

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/13 10:52 CDT

Congratulations to Scott Sheppard and Chad Trujillo for identifying the first known L5 Trojan asteroid of Neptune!

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Volcanism across the solar system: Io

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/07/20 05:33 CDT

Three months ago, grandiosely, I announced that I was going to survey volcanism across the solar system, and I began the journey on Earth. Then I failed to follow up.

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Is this SMART-1's impact site?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/15 12:44 CDT

Speaking of spacecraft crashing...

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Pretty picture: Messier 83

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/19 11:43 CDT

What does a barred spiral galaxy look like? THIS is what a barred spiral galaxy looks like.

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Jupiter has lost a belt!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/10 05:22 CDT

Via Daniel Fischer's Tweet about a blog entry by Astro BobI learned of something which should be obvious to anyone who has trained even a rather small telescope on Jupiter over the past few weeks: one of its iconic stripes is just plain gone.

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Two cool discoveries today: icy-hot exoplanet and smallest ever Kuiper Belt object

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.

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Video from Palomar Observatory on LCROSS impact night

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/10 04:47 CDT

The Palomar Observatory adaptive optics image of the crater Cabeus remains the best I've seen from ground-based telescopes of the LCROSS impact site.

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Palomar image of crater Cabeus after LCROSS impact

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/09 10:43 CDT

Here's the sharpest optical image shown today of the Moon, from Palomar Observatory.

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MMT image of the plume and its shadow?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/09 10:02 CDT

I am pretty sure this image shows the LCROSS impact plume and its shadow as seen from the MMT observatory in Arizona, but as Alan Boyle just pointed out, the time stamps indicate the photos were all taken before the nominal impact time.

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Gravity's Bow

Posted by Timothy Reed on 2009/06/15 03:56 CDT

Timothy Reed explains how optical telescopes are tested for gravity sag, and the methods used to counteract or compensate for it.

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Aloha, Io

Posted by John Spencer on 2009/06/08 01:49 CDT

Taking a look at Jupiter's moon, Io, from Hawaii.

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Farewell to Hubble, Obama Calls, Astronauts Testify to Congress as Shuttle is Set to Land

Posted by Ken Kremer on 2009/05/22 05:13 CDT

Farewell to Hubble, Obama Calls, Astronauts Testify to Congress as Shuttle is Set to Land

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An Auspicious Week for Astronomy

Posted by Mark Adler on 2009/05/11 11:54 CDT | 1 comments

On Monday, if all goes well, we will launch the Space Shuttle to rejuvenate one the greatest scientific missions launched on or off the Earth: the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Mapping Mars, now and in history

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/02/26 04:23 CST

Planetary cartographer Phil Stooke has been working on a cool project to compose and compare maps of Mars that show how we saw the planet throughout the Space Age.

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Treasures from Mars' ancient history

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/01/28 12:06 CST

In which I discover Earl Slipher's Mars: The Photographic Story.

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OPAG, Day 2: Ground-based study of the small bodies in the outer solar system

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/05/07 08:10 CDT

After the political discussions of the morning, Mike Brown stood up to give the "highly subjective view of one ground-based astronomer," he said.

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No Longer Boring: 'Fireworks' and Other Surprises at Uranus Spotted Through Adaptive Optics

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2004/11/11 07:10 CST

Uranus has the unfortunate reputation of being the most boring planet in the solar system. But where it appeared to be a nearly featureless, hazy blue ball to Voyager 2, it is now blooming dozens of clouds that are visible to the sharp-eyed Keck II Telescope.

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