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Goldstone detects "STRONG" radar echoes from 2010 AL30

Emily Lakdawalla • January 12, 2010

Radio scientist Lance Benner posted to the Minor Planets Mailing list this evening the following message: "We have detected STRONG radar echoes from 2010 AL30 at Goldstone."

2010 AL30: Watch out for low-flying asteroids

Emily Lakdawalla • January 12, 2010

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.

Odyssey's going to start listening for Phoenix

Emily Lakdawalla • January 11, 2010

It's been the second most popular question I get from readers: "When might we possibly hear from Phoenix?"

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.

Spirit's still "extricating"

Emily Lakdawalla • January 08, 2010

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.

400 Years of the Galilean Satellites

Emily Lakdawalla • January 07, 2010

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

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

Emily Lakdawalla • January 06, 2010

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.

New Mercury Atlas

Emily Lakdawalla • January 06, 2010

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.

Evaporating exoplanet

Emily Lakdawalla • January 06, 2010

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.

Dawn Journal: Patiently Accelerating

Marc Rayman • January 05, 2010

Dawn usually interrupts ion thrusting once a week for about eight hours to point its main antenna to Earth. On November 30, however, instead of resuming thrusting, it dutifully followed different instructions that were stored onboard.

What's up in the solar system in January 2010

Emily Lakdawalla • January 04, 2010

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.

Kepler discovers its first five exoplanets

Bruce Betts • January 04, 2010

Congratulations to NASA's Kepler mission team on their announcement of the discovery of its first five exoplanets (planets around other stars).

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

Emily Lakdawalla • January 01, 2010

I know I already posted Earth once before. But I could not resist winding up the calendar with this view of a new Earth, for the new year.

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