Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/15 09:03 CST
It's official: in a press release today, JAXA announced that some 1,500 dust grains scraped from the interior of Hayabusa's clean-looking sample return capsule are not of terrestrial origin so must be from Itokawa.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/14 03:26 CST
I couldn't believe these videos when I first saw them: five views from engineering cameras of important events in the Chang'E 2 spacecraft's journey to the Moon.
Posted by Yong-Chun Zheng on 2010/11/12 10:57 CST
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced the success of Chang'E-2 lunar mission on Monday. Yong-Chun Zheng, an associate professor at the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, presents the mission's first released pictures.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/11 09:13 CST
I attended all day Tuesday of the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting on October 5. The afternoon session on Tuesday was a grab bag about different small objects in the outermost solar system.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/10 04:46 CST
In the last few days, Opportunity's passed by several craters, and the rover drivers took advantage of the chance encounters for what they call "drive-by shooting" (a phrase I can't say I'm particularly fond of, but they didn't ask me).
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/09 01:13 CST
On Thursday, November 4, at 13:50 UTC, Deep Impact flew within 700 kilometers of comet Hartley 2. Hartley 2 is the smallest and most active of the five comets that have been directly by a spacecraft, and the first to be visited within the lifetime of its discoverer.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/08 04:48 CST
Several astronomers pointed their telescope at Eris to watch it pass in front of a background star. Occultations permit precise measurement of the diameters of distant, faint objects, and it turned out that Eris was much smaller than previously thought, so much so that its diameter may turn out to be the same as, or even smaller than, Pluto's.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/05 06:17 CDT
I had to catch up with tasks left undone at home today and didn't have time to write up my notes from the Hartley 2 press briefing, for which I apologize. I'll leave you for the weekend with three cool Hartley 2 pictures.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/04 11:24 CDT
Those of you who follow my blog must have known this was coming: now that I got all five new Deep Impact images of Comet Hartley 2 posted and explained, I had to make an animation. Here they are.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/04 10:58 CDT
Here's the five close-approach images of Hartley 2 captured today, November 4, 2010, by the Deep Impact spacecraft, collected into one file. Boy, do these images reward close examination!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/04 09:16 CDT
Just a very brief update to congratulate the Deep Impact team on what was apparently a successful flyby of Hartley 2!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/03 03:39 CDT
According to the mission timeline, the Deep Impact high-resolution observations of Hartley 2 are beginning in just a few minutes, at 20:50 according to the clock on the spacecraft.