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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: Studying Asteroids from Earth with Andy Rivkin

Emily Lakdawalla • February 28, 2013

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.

Mysterious Umbriel

Ted Stryk • February 28, 2013

Presenting a newly-processed version of Voyager 2's best images of Uranus' moon Umbriel.

Comet to whiz past Mars in October 2014

Emily Lakdawalla • February 27, 2013

A recently discovered comet, C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring), is going to be passing very close to Mars on October 19, 2014. Does it pose a risk to spacecraft?

Checking in with the Future of Mars Exploration at NASA

Casey Dreier • February 27, 2013

Reporting from NASA's Mars Exploration Program working group on the latest updates in scientific exploration of the red planet.

MarsFest 2013: Mars in the Mojave

Casey Dreier • February 26, 2013

From March 1st - 3rd I'll be representing the Planetary Society at the 2nd annual MarsFest, located in Death Valley National Park.

Atacama Diary

Mat Kaplan • February 25, 2013

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.

Postcards from Clementine

Bill Dunford • February 25, 2013

Nineteen years ago this month, the Clementine mission sent some amazing views from the moon.

Galileo got so many more images of Ida than I realized

Emily Lakdawalla • February 22, 2013

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!

In Memoriam: David S. McKay

Bruce Betts • February 21, 2013

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.

Pretty picture: a moon transit

Emily Lakdawalla • February 21, 2013

A reader comment inspired me to dig up an oldie but a goodie: a sequence of photos of the Moon transiting Earth, seen from a very long way away,

Planetary Society Hangout Thursday, Feb 21st at noon PST. The Sequester at NASA with Jon Morse

Casey Dreier • February 21, 2013

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

Mat Kaplan • February 20, 2013

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.

Curiosity update, sol 193: drilled stuff is in the scoop, ready for analysis

Emily Lakdawalla • February 20, 2013

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.

Brother, Can You Spare $1B for a Planetary Space Telescope?

Van Kane • February 20, 2013

Imagine you had a Hubble-class telescope and could use in any way you wanted to explore planets. What would you do with it?

Why don't we have any photos of asteroid 2012 DA14 if it came so close?

Emily Lakdawalla • February 19, 2013

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.

Vermin of the Sky

Louis D. Friedman • February 19, 2013

Executive Director Emeritus Louis Friedman writes about Asteroid programs of The Planetary Society.

Observing 2012 DA14

Edward Gomez • February 18, 2013

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.

When will New Horizons have better views of Pluto than Hubble does?

Emily Lakdawalla • February 18, 2013

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

Mat Kaplan • February 18, 2013

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.

Arc of Ice and Light

Bill Dunford • February 18, 2013

When the sunlight catches it just right, Saturn's F Ring is something to see.

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