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The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Sleeps as Storm Chasers Study Planet-Encircling Dust Cloud

A.J.S. Rayl • July 04, 2018

As a monster dust storm grew to encircle the Red Planet in June, Opportunity spent most of the month in the dark, presumably sleeping in a hibernation mode as the skies over Endeavour Crater became darker and darker.

Planetary Defense in the Moroccan Mountains

Jason Davis • July 03, 2018

A little-known observatory is s helping usher an Arab astronomy renaissance.

Programming note

Emily Lakdawalla • July 01, 2018

Emily Lakdawalla is on vacation from 1 to 22 July. Jason Davis will reign over the blog in her absence.

Curiosity update, sols 2027-2092: Return to drilling at Duluth, sciencing the dust storm

Emily Lakdawalla • June 29, 2018

Hooray! Curiosity has triumphantly returned to drilling with a successful drill and delivery to its lab instruments at a site named Duluth. It's now studying the dust storm as it drives to new drill sites on Vera Rubin ridge.

Let's check in on The Planetary Society's asteroid hunters

Jason Davis • June 29, 2018

The Shoemaker NEO Grant program funds advanced amateur astronomers who help determine if nearby asteroids will hit Earth. Here are some collected reports from our asteroid hunters.

Hayabusa2 arrived at Ryugu, so I can make comparisons of asteroid scales!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 27, 2018

On 26 June 2018, Hayabusa2 arrived at its target asteroid, Ryugu. In a very brief status update, I present comparisons of Ryugu to other previously visited asteroids and comets.

Will an asteroid hit Earth? Your questions answered.

Bruce Betts • June 26, 2018

The Planetary Society presents a list of Frequent Asteroid Questions (FAQs).

Hayabusa2 update: New views of Ryugu and corkscrew course adjustments

Emily Lakdawalla • June 21, 2018

Ryugu has continued to grow in Hayabusa2's forward view, resolving into a diamond-shaped body with visible bumps and craters! They've done hazard searches, optical navigation imaging, and measured the rotation rate at 7.6 hours.

New report explores threat from near-Earth asteroids

Jason Davis • June 20, 2018

How dangerous are near-Earth asteroids, and what will we do if we find one headed toward Earth?

Rotatin' Ryugu!

Jason Davis • June 18, 2018

Hayabusa2 continues to approach asteroid Ryugu, revealing the 900-meter-wide world in all its glory.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update Special Report: Opportunity Pummeled by Massive Dust Storm, Hunkers Down to Sleep

A.J.S. Rayl • June 15, 2018

Entrenched in the west rim of Endeavour Crater, veteran robot field geologist Opportunity is hunkered down in Perseverance Valley in a kind of hibernation mode.

Dawn Journal: Spiralling Down

Marc Rayman • June 15, 2018

Propelled by the perfect combination of xenon ions, hydrazine rocket propellant and adrenaline, Dawn is on the verge of its most ambitious exploits yet.

How China's lunar relay satellite arrived in its final orbit

Luyuan Xu • June 15, 2018

It took 24 days for Queiqiao to reach an Earth-Moon L2 halo orbit.

NASA's 2019 Budget Takes Shape

Casey Dreier • June 15, 2018

The Senate and House have now released details of how they would fund NASA in 2019. Check out the good, bad, and ugly in these proposals and learn what happens next.

Favorite Astro Plots: The Pyroxene Quadrilateral

Melissa Lane • June 15, 2018

Petrology is a field of science in which scientists study the compositions of rocks and minerals and interpret their geologic history. A common graph petrologists use is the “pyroxene quadrilateral.” These graphs, like photos of space, can reveal an understanding of the remotest parts of the solar system.

Chinese satellite snags new views of Earth from lunar orbit

Jason Davis • June 14, 2018

See the world through the eyes of Longjiang-2.

Hayabusa2: Ryugu takes shape

Emily Lakdawalla • June 14, 2018

Hayabusa2 is now less than 1000 kilometers away from Ryugu, and the tiny asteroid is beginning to betray its shape.

Get ready for OSIRIS-REx at Bennu! ...but be patient.

Emily Lakdawalla • June 12, 2018

NASA's OSIRIS-REx will get the first sight of its target Bennu in August and go into orbit in December.

Meet MMX, Japan's sample return mission to Phobos

Jason Davis • June 11, 2018

NASA is providing an instrument for the mission, which will try to uncover the origins of Phobos and Deimos.

Reaching Higher for Space

Bill Nye • June 08, 2018

We humans have always looked to the night sky and pondered our place in the cosmos.

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