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2010 AL30: Watch out for low-flying asteroids

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/12 11:52 CST

In less than 24 hours, a newly discovered asteroid known as 2010 AL30 will be zipping past Earth at an altitude of approximately a third the Earth-Moon distance. There's no chance it'll hit us, but it's generating a lot of excitement in the community of amateur and professional near-Earth asteroid observers.

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Odyssey's going to start listening for Phoenix

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/11 05:26 CST

Odyssey's going to start listening for Phoenix

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Results from the Rosetta Encounter with Asteroid 2867 Steins

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/11 01:12 CST

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.

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Asteroid 2867 Steins

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/11 02:01 CST

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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Spirit's still "extricating"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/08 01:08 CST

It's been two months, now, that extrication efforts have been going on. It's discouraging that the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit isn't out of the trap.

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400 Years of the Galilean Satellites

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/07 03:34 CST

It was 400 years ago today that Galileo discovered smaller planets attending the planet Jupiter.

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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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New Mercury Atlas

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/06 12:28 CST

The United States Geological Survey has just released a new atlas of Mercury, the first to be based upon the three flybys worth of image data gathered by the MESSENGER mission.

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Evaporating exoplanet

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/06 11:50 CST

CoRoT-7b was the first unambiguously rocky planet to be discovered and was quite small, at under five Earth masses. But a press release issued today suggests that its history probably has little to do with Earth's.

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Dawn Journal: Patiently accelerating

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2010/01/05 02:51 CST

Dawn Journal: Patiently accelerating

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What's up in the solar system in January 2010

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/04 01:29 CST

While we don't have Moon bases, we do have plenty of spacecraft. Before I get into my more detailed look at the activities of the 20-odd spacecraft wandering about the solar system, I thought I'd look ahead to 2010 more generally and see what the year has in store for us.

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Bruce Betts: Kepler discovers its first five exoplanets

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2010/01/04 12:06 CST

Congratulations to NASA's Kepler mission team on their announcement of the discovery of its first five exoplanets (planets around other stars). All five are "hot Jupiters," meaning that they are the sizes of the gas giants in our solar system, but are extremely close to their parent stars.

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Last Door in the Planetary Society Advent Calendar: Earth, again

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/01 10:37 CST

Last Door in the Planetary Society Advent Calendar: Earth, again

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