Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/20 01:27 CST
Ordinarily it's not my thing to do so many updates on a mission that failed to arrive in orbit, but I know that it's difficult for English-speaking readers to locate information on Asian missions so I'm keeping up the reporting on Akatsuki.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/20 11:07 CST
Time to open the twentieth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this diffuse blob and stripy sea?
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/20 10:55 CST
Unless you live under a rock you probably know that there is a total lunar eclipse tonight, one that should be particularly favorable for viewing from North America but which will be at least partially visible to viewers in South America, Europe, and easternmost Asia and Australia too.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/17 10:44 CST
The Hayabusa update is brief: having opened the first Hayabusa sample return chamber (compartment A) last month, JAXA has now opened compartment B, and they found nothing inside.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/15 02:40 CST
Today Opportunity has driven to within 20 meters of Santa Maria crater, and the blocks around it are really, really cool-looking. This one is a dead ringer for the severed tail of an alligator.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/14 01:18 CST
Opportunity is on a kilometers-long eastward road trip across Meridiani Planum toward the rim of a large ancient crater named Endeavour; it'll be many months yet before she gets there.
Posted by Emily Martin on 2010/12/13 12:10 CST
There is really cool geology being explored on large, oddly shaped asteroids. The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission reached 433 Eros in 2000, and one of the exciting results was the discovery of features called "ponds".
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/11 02:35 CST
Time to open the eleventh door in the advent calendar. Until the New Year, I'll be opening a door onto a different landscape from somewhere in the solar system. Where in the solar system are these sinuous ridges?