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Arecibo Observatory operational after repairs to fix earthquake damage

Posted by Alessondra Springmann on 2014/04/09 09:48 CDT | 1 comments

Early in the morning on January 13, 2014, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck beneath the Atlantic Ocean north of Puerto Rico, damaging Arecibo Observatory, the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope. The telescope is now operational after repairs and scientists have resumed observations. However, the future of Arecibo Observatory remains unclear due to funding uncertainties in the federal budget.

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Returning Explorers

Posted by Achim Vollhardt on 2014/03/28 01:25 CDT | 3 comments

ICE has been on a journey for over 30 years around our sun. While the owner has decided not to bring the ship back to its home port, a group of radio amateurs tries to find out how ICE is doing.

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Spacecraft phone home: Cool Deep Space Network data visualization

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/03/14 11:04 CDT | 5 comments

Check out the awesome new "Deep Space Network Now" page at JPL's Eyes on the Solar System to see just who the many antennas of the Deep Space Network are talking to at this moment.

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Intro Astronomy Class 3: Telescopes, the Moon

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/02/21 04:35 CST

Explore optical, radio, and space telescopes and the Moon in the video of class 3 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

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Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 12: Encyclopedia Galactica
In which we ponder the existence of others

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/02/05 04:55 CST | 8 comments

Cosmos returns in fine form in its penultimate episode. Sagan explores the historical and scientific precedents for the search for extraterrestrial life (SETI) and our human desires to not be alone in the universe.

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Government shutdown closes 3 of 4 National Radio Astronomy Observatories

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/04 06:38 CDT | 3 comments

The shutdown of the federal government continues to claim casualties. Today, the Green Bank Telescope, Very Large Array, and Very Long Baseline Arrays all shut their doors, blinding us to the radio sky and scuttling long-term research projects.

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Book review: Europe to the Stars, by Govert Schilling and Lars Lindberg Christensen

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/08/16 11:05 CDT

The world's great telescopes capture stunning photographs of stars, nebulae, and other sky phenomena. In Europe to the Stars, authors Govert Schilling and Lars Lindberg Christensen share many such photos. But the real stars of this book are the great telescopes of the European Southern Observatory.

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How radar really works: The steps involved before getting an image

Posted by Alessondra Springmann on 2013/06/24 02:10 CDT | 3 comments

Arecibo Observatory is known for its 1000-foot diameter telescope and its appearances in Goldeneye and Contact. Aside from battling Bond villains and driving red diesel Jeeps around the telescope (grousing at the site director about the funding status of projects is optional), several hundred hours a year of telescope time at Arecibo go toward radar studies of asteroids.

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Say "hi!" to asteroid -- actually, asteroids -- (285263) 1998 QE2

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/30 06:51 CDT | 8 comments

A large asteroid is passing reasonably close to Earth in a few hours, and astronomers at the great radio telescopes at Goldstone and Arecibo are zapping it. The latest discovery: QE2, like many asteroids, is a binary.

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Astronomy Enters a New Era
Join us for a live webcast about thrilling new tools that will come online in the next decade.

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/05/26 08:45 CDT | 3 comments

A live conversation about just a few of the powerful new instruments that will revolutionize our knowledge of the cosmos once again.

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DSS 35: Watch the construction of the next big dish!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/08 11:23 CDT

You can watch via webcam as the next Deep Space Network radio antenna -- DSS 35, in Tidbinbilla, Australia -- gets its dish.

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ALMA Adventure--Complete Interviews With Planetary Radio Guests

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/03/26 12:33 CDT | 6 comments

The extended, mostly unedited recordings of my conversations with many of the people I spoke to at the ALMA Observatory in Chile. Also, the full English translation of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera's speech.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: the Giant ALMA Observatory, and Asteroid Tracking

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/03/20 01:31 CDT

Bruce Betts, Mat Kaplan, and asteroid tracker Robert Holmes on the Planetary Society Weekly Google Hangout. Mat discussed and showed pictures from his trip to the giant ALMA observatory and we'll be joined by asteroid tracker extraordinaire, Robert Holmes.

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Atacama Diary for March 10, 2013--Pisco Sours and Liquid Helium

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/03/10 11:10 CDT

Great dinner and great conversation with staff of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, topped by Chile's national drink.

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Atacama Diary for March 8, 2013-Noon at LAX

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/03/09 05:32 CST

Another audio blog post, with excerpts from the National Science Foundation briefing on the ALMA Observatory, edited while I was waiting for my planet to Chile at LAX.

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Planetary Society Hangout: March 7th, 2013 - What's Going On With Curiosity and a NASA Budget Update
Thursday at noon PST/3pm EST/20:00 UT

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/03/07 12:35 CST | 3 comments

Thursday at noon PST/3pm EST/20:00 UT we check in with Emily Lakdawalla to bring us up to speed with Curiosity's computer problems and we check in on NASA's budget status.

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Atacama Diary for March 2, 2013--ALMA Explained

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/03/02 07:00 CST

The second in a series of audio blogs chronicling my trip to the driest spot on Earth, Chile's Atacama desert, to see the inauguration of the ALMA Observatory. Al Wootten and Alison Peck tell the story of ALMA.

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Atacama Diary
February 25, 2013--The Longest Journey Begins With a Single Dose

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/02/25 11:47 CST | 4 comments

The first in a series of audio blogs chronicling my trip to the driest spot on Earth, Chile's Atacama desert, to see the inauguration of the ALMA Observatory.

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

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/19 03:13 CST | 2 comments

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.

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