Emily Lakdawalla's guest this week was Applied Physics Laboratory asteroid astronomer Andy Rivkin. We talked about the menagerie of rocks in the asteroid belt, how many of them travel in pairs and triples, how some of them are surprisingly wet, and how much you can learn about asteroids using Earth-based telescopes.
Reporting from NASA's Mars Exploration Program working group on the latest updates in scientific exploration of the red planet.
February 25, 2013--The Longest Journey Begins With a Single Dose
The first 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.
While writing up the cruise-phase issues of the Galileo Messenger a couple of weeks ago, I came across a fuzzy montage of images of Ida that I had not seen before. So I decided to spend some time digging into the Planetary Data System to see if there were more images to be found. I found lots and lots pictures that I'd never seen before!
NASA planetary scientist David S. McKay has passed away. He had an enormous impact on planetary studies over the course of his career. He also was a co-investigator on The Planetary Society LIFE experiments.
Planetary Society Hangout Thursday, Feb 21st at noon PST. The Sequester at NASA with Jon Morse
Thursday, Feb 21st, at noon PST/3pm EST/20:00 UT
How will the Sequester effect NASA? Dr. Jon Morse, former Director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA, will help us understand the cuts, the process, and the hard decisions being made right now.
Webcast Tonight! Planetary Scientist and Society President Jim Bell
Watch It Live or Later On Demand
Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/02/20 07:59 CST
Professor Bell's topic is "Exploring Mars, the Moon, Asteroids, and Comets with Rovers and Landers," and there is no one better to talk about this subject.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/20 06:36 CST
There was a press briefing today to announce that Curiosity has completed her last major first-time activity: powder drilled from inside a rock at John Klein successfully made its way into the CHIMRA sample handling mechanism in the turret. Sol 193, then, marks the day that Curiosity is finally ready to start the science mission.
Imagine you had a Hubble-class telescope and could use in any way you wanted to explore planets. What would you do with it?
A frequently-asked question last week was: if asteroid 2012 DA14 is coming so close to Earth, why hasn't anyone taken any pictures of it? Now that 2012 DA14 has whizzed past us, we do finally have some radar pictures of it, but they still may not satisfy everyone.
Mostly the Universe stays unchanged for hundreds, thousands or even millions of years. There are some cases however when some things change really rapidly. Recently I observed one of these rapidly changing, transient phenomena, as asteroid called 2012 DA14. I work for Las Cumbres Observatory and we have been trying to observe this asteroid since 5 February.
Last week, I posted an explainer on why Hubble's images of galaxies show so much more detail than its images of Pluto. Then I set you all a homework problem: when will New Horizons be able to see Pluto better than Hubble does? Here's the answer.
The Sky Was Falling! A Meteoric Airburst Over Russia and the Encounter with 2012 DA14
Enjoy our Planetcast webcast with Bill Nye and Bruce Betts
Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/02/18 03:27 CST
SEE IT NOW: The Planetary Society's CEO, Bill Nye the Science Guy, joined Director of Projects Bruce Betts for a live webcast as 2012 DA14, a 45-meter asteroid, was passing Earth. Bill and Bruce also marveled at video of the meteor burst high over a city in Russia.