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The End of Cosmos 1, the Beginning of the Next Chapter

Louis D. Friedman • September 30, 2005

Cosmos 1 was—and is—a great effort, and one we are proud The Planetary Society tried to do. Our independent grassroots organization built and launched a spacecraft whose technology promises to one day open up interstellar travel.

Another day, another natural disaster on Earth seen from space...

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2005

...but this one is much closer to home than Katrina and Rita were.

An opportunity for Spirit to see Earth and Venus together?

Emily Lakdawalla • September 26, 2005

I received the following question by email last week: "Do you know if the Mars rovers team has any plans to photograph Venus and Earth together in the evening sky from either rover site? They will be closest together around Sept. 29th."

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Revels in Science at Husband Hill Summit as Opportunity Closes in on Erebus Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • September 22, 2005

Despite a few unexpected bumps and curves in their explorations at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, the Mars Exploration Rovers have been working away and both Spirit and Opportunity have put in a very productive month's worth of work on the Red Planet.

Modest scopes could help with the Hyperion observations

Emily Lakdawalla • September 22, 2005

I got an email last night from Anne Verbiscer, whom I had contacted about rounding up some amateur astronomers to help the Cassini mission with some photometric observations of Hyperion.

An official pronouncement may be coming about the "what is a planet?" debate

Emily Lakdawalla • September 21, 2005

Since the discovery of 2003 UB313, larger than Pluto, there's been a lively debate going on in many places about what makes a planet. There's now an article in Nature talking about a proposal that would address the controversy

A debate about time

Emily Lakdawalla • September 21, 2005

I received a press release in my inbox this morning that made me think. It came from the Royal Astronomical Society, and was titled "RAS Statement on Proposed Abolition of Leap Seconds."

DPS: Updates on 2003 EL61 and 2005 FY9

Emily Lakdawalla • September 13, 2005

At a press briefing, the co-discoverers of the so-called "10th planet" 2003 UB313 gave an update on what is known about this and the other two scattered Kuiper Belt bodies that were announced at the time: 2003 EL61 and 2005 FY9.

DPS: Central transit of Earth as seen from Saturn

Emily Lakdawalla • September 13, 2005

There were a few talks at the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting dealing with a rare and fortuitous event that happened on January 13, 2005.

Some bad news for fans of Titan RADAR

Emily Lakdawalla • September 10, 2005

According to Jason Perry, the much-anticipated Titan-7 RADAR imagery across Titan's southern hemisphere may have been lost due to an error on Cassini's solid state recorder. That will be very sad if it turns out to be true.

DPS: Back to Day 3 again: finishing up asteroids & Iapetus

Emily Lakdawalla • September 09, 2005

Today is the last day of DPS, and the first that has not had a press conference session at lunchtime, so I have a few moments here to do some catching up.

An animation of Itokawa from Hayabusa

Emily Lakdawalla • September 07, 2005

This lovely animation of Itokawa represents 20 individual images taken between 18:10 on September 5 and 00:30 on September 6, from a distance of less than 700 kilometers away.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Returns (Most of) Panorama from Summit of Husband Hill

A.J.S. Rayl • September 01, 2005

Spirit has returned enough pictures from the summit [summit #1] of Husband Hill for the Mars Exploration Team to have put together a 240-degree color panorama of her view, which they released at a news conference today, held at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. In coming days, the rover will return the rest of the images to complete the full, 360-degree, color panorama.

astronaut on Phobos
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