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Blog Archive

 

Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: Being WISE about asteroids, comets, and brown dwarfs with Amy Mainzer

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/14 02:00 CDT

This week I'll be talking with NEOWISE principal investigator Amy Mainzer about moving objects that the WISE mission has spotted both inside and outside our solar system.

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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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Why can Hubble get detailed views of distant galaxies but not of Pluto?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/14 12:37 CST | 17 comments

How come Hubble's pictures of galaxies billions of light years away are so beautifully detailed, yet the pictures of Pluto, which is so much closer, are just little blobs? I get asked this question, or variations of it, a lot. Here's an explainer.

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Stars, and stars, and stars: pretty pictures from the European Southern Observatory

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/21 03:39 CST | 4 comments

My solar system chauvinism is well-established, but I am as much a sucker for beautiful astrophotos as the rest of you. Once in a while I get a media advisory from the European Southern Observatory about a new pretty picture posted on their website, and then I inevitably lose an hour following links to one stunner after another.

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Crowdsourcing the Andromeda Galaxy

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/12/11 06:29 CST | 1 comment

Scientists would like your help starting at high-resolution images of the Andromeda Galaxy captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Artist's views of a night sky transformed by a galaxy merger

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/06/04 12:25 CDT | 2 comments

A measurement of the Andromeda galaxy's proper motion shows it's coming directly at us, and will collide with the Milky Way in 4 billion years. The event will transform the appearance of our night sky.

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This is how far human radio broadcasts have reached into the galaxy

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/24 05:26 CST | 2 comments

There is an ever-expanding bubble announcing Humanity's presence to anyone listening in the Milky Way.

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The Scale of the Universe, by Cary and Michael Huang

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/16 10:14 CST

Cary and Michael Huang present a basic "powers of ten" visualization starting at human scale from which you can scrub downward smaller than quarks or upward to the scale of the entire universe.

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NuSTAR telescope to get close look at black holes, supernovae

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/02/07 02:40 CST

The NuSTAR X-ray telescope will enable scientists to get a much-improved look at black holes and supernovae in both the Milky Way and other galaxies.

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A little fun with Deep Impact deep-sky data

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/11/14 05:44 CST

Last week, the team put all of the data from Deep Impact's deep-sky imaging session online, and challenged visitors to see what they could make from it. I made some photos of M51, but there were some challenges.

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

Posted by Mike Malaska on 2011/05/12 05:13 CDT

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.

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The scale of our solar system

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/02 11:26 CDT

Space.com has taken advantage of the infinitely scrollable nature of Web pages to produce a really cool infographic on the scales of orbital distances in the solar system.

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Congratulations to the WISE team on a beautiful "First Light" photo!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/06 12:51 CST

Congratulations are due to the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) team on their lovely "First Light" image, unveiled at the 215th American Astronomical Society meeting.

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An Auspicious Week for Astronomy

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

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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