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Stardust@home Finds Some Stardust

Amir Alexander • August 21, 2014

What’s new at Stardust@home, the groundbreaking program that asked volunteers to help find interstellar dust particles collected by the spacecraft Stardust.

Interstellar Dust Grains Found by Stardust@home

Bruce Betts • August 15, 2014

Seven possible interstellar dust grains have been found by Stardust@home, a citizen scientist project that The Planetary Society helped out early on. The dust grains would be the first ever examples of contemporary interstellar dust.

My ever-popular asteroids-and-comets montage, now in color, with bonus Toutatis

Emily Lakdawalla • December 18, 2012

My collage of all the asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft is probably the single most popular image I have ever posted on this blog. I've now updated it to be in color and to include Toutatis.

Brief notes from Day 2 of the DPS-EPSC meeting

Emily Lakdawalla • October 04, 2011

It's been a very full day at the DPS-EPSC 2011 joint meeting. My day was less full than it might have been, because I overslept and missed most of the morning's session. I really needed the rest though so I think it was probably for the best!

Citizen Science projects for Planetary Science: Get Involved! Do Science!

Mike Malaska • May 12, 2011

Citizen Science projects let volunteers easily contribute to active science programs. They're useful when there is so much data it overwhelms computing algorithms (if they exist) or the scientific research team attempting to process it.

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.

The end of Stardust

Emily Lakdawalla • March 25, 2011

So, it's over. Stardust's last transmission to Earth was yesterday, March 24, 2011 at 23:33 UTC. Its final act was to burn up all of its last remaining fuel, a move intended to help engineers validate their guesses for how much fuel actually remained in the tanks.

In honor of Stardust: The Annefrank encounter

Emily Lakdawalla • March 24, 2011

Since Stardust is being decommissioned today I thought it'd be fitting to take a look back at one of its data sets. I hadn't fiddled with the Annefrank data set before, and it was small and easy to deal with.

Tomorrow is Stardust's very last day

Emily Lakdawalla • March 23, 2011

What's that in my eye? Must be a piece of stardust that's making my eyes water as I read that Stardust will be given its very last command tomorrow, a command that'll end its long life, but give its builders one more piece of valuable data in the process.

Stardust: Decommissioning planned for March 24

Emily Lakdawalla • March 16, 2011

Stardust (probably) has only a week remaining in its operational lifetime, according to a status report just posted to the mission website.

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).

Announcing the winners of the "Are We There Yet?" contest

Emily Lakdawalla • February 28, 2011

I'm pleased to announce the winners of the Planetary Society's "Are We There Yet?" Stardust contest!

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Stardust at Tempel 1

Emily Lakdawalla • February 28, 2011

Yesterday the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Stardust at Tempel 1: The First Second Trip to a Comet.

Stardust update: last image taken today

Emily Lakdawalla • February 24, 2011

According to the Stardust website, the spacecraft has continued taking navigational camera images of Tempel 1 since last Monday's flyby. But "This will end with a Navcam calibration that will take place [today]. This will be the end of the official Tempel 1 encounter activities. Planning is under way for the decommissioning of the spacecraft."

Sounds of Stardust, and a cool morphed Tempel 1 video

Emily Lakdawalla • February 18, 2011

Here's two more items from Tuesday's flyby of comet Tempel 1 by the Stardust spacecraft to add to my previous roundup of Tempel 1 data. The first represents data from a dust counting instrument, portrayed as sound, and the second is a terrific morph animation of the flyby produced by Daniel Macháček.

Some early scientific impressions of Stardust's Tempel 1 flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • February 16, 2011

I've spent a day with the Stardust images from Tempel 1, and had a chat with co-investigator Jessica Sunshine, so here are a bunch of images with some preliminary scientific commentary.

All Stardust data is now on Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • February 15, 2011

A status update from Stardust posted this afternoon contained welcome news.

Highlights from today's Stardust Tempel 1 press briefing

Emily Lakdawalla • February 15, 2011

It was a very happy science team at this afternoon's press briefing following the Stardust encounter with Tempel 1.

Quick-and-dirty animation of Stardust Tempel 1 images through closest approach

Emily Lakdawalla • February 15, 2011

Here's a quick-and-dirty animated GIF of the 39 images of Tempel 1 that have arrived on Earth so far from Stardust. I've put a big watermark on this animation because it's not a final product.

High-res images of Tempel 1 from Stardust now arriving

Emily Lakdawalla • February 15, 2011

I really didn't expect these images to look so good! I'd prepared myself for blurry images and a lot of squinting to try to match up features in pictures between Deep Impact and Stardust views of Tempel 1, but in fact the resemblance is obvious and you can clearly see that they successfully imaged the area in which Deep Impact's Impactor craft collided with the comet.

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