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Place names on Lutetia

Emily Lakdawalla • April 26, 2011

Whenever we explore someplace new -- a new island, a new continent, a new cave, a new world -- there's a necessary activity that explorers must perform before they can sensibly tell the world about their discoveries: name things.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: What's up in the second quarter of 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • April 07, 2011

Regular readers of this blog will find the content of today's 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast familiar, because it's an update on what the solar system exploration spacecraft are up to, based on my monthly "what's up" updates.

What's up in the solar system in April 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • March 31, 2011

April 2011 will see MESSENGER begin the science phase of its orbital mission at Mercury, and should, I think, also see the start of Dawn's approach observations of Vesta. At Mars, Opportunity is back on the road again, rolling inexorably toward Endeavour. At Saturn, Cassini will continue its focus on Saturn and Titan science.

What's up in the solar system in March 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • February 28, 2011

I don't think there's any question what the big event of this month will be: MESSENGER is finally, finally entering orbit at Mercury on March 18 at 00:45 UTC (March 17 at 16:45 for me).

Rosetta Update: 98% of rendezvous burn achieved, more detail on the safing event

Emily Lakdawalla • February 22, 2011

ESA's Rosetta comet chaser has achieved 98% of the velocity change that it needed to accomplish in order to set itself up for the final leg of its cruise to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The original plan was to perform this velocity change in a series of five rocket burns at the end of January, but the plans were interrupted by a scary event: the spacecraft went into safe mode during the second burn, on January 18.

Rosetta update: Scary safe mode, but all's well now

Emily Lakdawalla • February 04, 2011

The Rosetta blog has been strangely quiet of late, after they had been quite actively posting updates on the status of Rosetta during a critical series of orbit adjustment burns, which I wrote about two weeks ago.

Rosetta burns for its comet

Emily Lakdawalla • January 18, 2011

Rosetta -- Europe's comet-chasing spacecraft -- is in the middle of a three-day series of rocket firings that are setting the geometry for its rendezvous with comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Small Worlds

Emily Lakdawalla • December 27, 2010

Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Small Worlds, about the smaller denizens of the solar system visited in the past year, and due to be visited in the next.

Door 13 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 13, 2010

Time to open the thirteenth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system are these parallel gouges?

Report from the Exploration of Near-Earth Objects Objectives Workshop - Day 2

Bruce Betts • August 11, 2010

It's day 2 at NASA's Exploration of Near Earth Objects (NEO) Objectives workshop (ExploreNOW).

Color portrait of asteroid 21 Lutetia

Emily Lakdawalla • July 21, 2010

Since it doesn't look like the Rosetta mission is going to be releasing any color versions of their Lutetia close-encounter images any time soon, I figured it was time to make one.

Rosetta's Lutetia pictures

Emily Lakdawalla • July 11, 2010

I saw these pictures for the first time just 10 minutes before boarding my flight back home, and forced myself to download everything I could find as quickly as possible without pausing to actually look at them.

Lutetia -- and Saturn!!

Emily Lakdawalla • July 10, 2010

A quick post of just one of the gorgeous images from Rosetta's flyby of Lutetia today; for more, see the Rosetta Blog. But this one was just too pretty to wait for.

Rosetta Lutetia flyby successful; approach images posted; high-res images yet to come

Emily Lakdawalla • July 10, 2010

All appears to be going very smoothly on Rosetta through, and after, its flyby today of asteroid (21) Lutetia.

Where to watch the Rosetta flyby of Lutetia

Emily Lakdawalla • July 10, 2010

A quick post to gather information on where to watch the events of today's flyby of asteroid (21) Lutetia by Rosetta.

Rosetta's Lutetia navigation campaign complete

Emily Lakdawalla • July 09, 2010

Rosetta's most important job over the last few months has been to observe how the position of asteroid (21) Lutetia shifts against the background of fixed (fixed, that is, as far as Rosetta can see) stars.

Three days to Lutetia for Rosetta!

Emily Lakdawalla • July 07, 2010

On July 10, 2010, at 15:44:56 UTC, the Rosetta spacecraft will fly within 3,162 kilometers of the largest asteroid yet visited by a spacecraft.

21 Lutetia, Rosetta's July target

Emily Lakdawalla • April 16, 2010

While I was waiting for President Obama's speech yesterday, I read over a paper by I. N. Belskaya et al titled "Puzzling asteroid 21 Lutetia: our knowledge prior to the Rosetta fly-by."

Results from the Rosetta Encounter with Asteroid 2867 Steins

Emily Lakdawalla • January 11, 2010

Last week in Science magazine appeared the first peer-reviewed article on the results of Rosetta's September 2008 encounter with the smallish main-belt asteroid Steins. This morning I got a chance to sit down and read the article, and I wrote up a summary.

Asteroid 2867 Steins

Emily Lakdawalla • January 11, 2010

This description of asteroid 2867 Steins is based upon an article published in the January 8, 2010 issue of Science by H. Uwe Keller and numerous coauthors and on a related press release.

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