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Blogs

Emily Lakdawalla's blogs from 2004

No Longer Boring: 'Fireworks' and Other Surprises at Uranus Spotted Through Adaptive Optics

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2004/11/11 07:10 CST

Uranus has the unfortunate reputation of being the most boring planet in the solar system. But where it appeared to be a nearly featureless, hazy blue ball to Voyager 2, it is now blooming dozens of clouds that are visible to the sharp-eyed Keck II Telescope.

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Close Your Left Eye, Then Your Right: Simultaneous Observations of Asteroid 4179 Toutatis from Two Chilean Telescopes Demonstrate Parallax

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2004/09/29 12:00 CDT

This morning, asteroid 4179 Toutatis was so close to Earth that simultaneous observations from two telescopes in the same country could show parallax that is obvious even to the least experienced observer. The two telescopes belong to The European Southern Observatory and are located at La Silla and Paranal in Chile

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Very Close Approach by Asteroid 4179 Toutatis: It's Not a Crisis, It's an Opportunity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2004/09/27 12:00 CDT

On Wednesday, September 29, Earth will dodge a cannonball: the Near-Earth Asteroid known as 4179 Toutatis will buzz by at a distance only four times the distance from the Earth to the Moon -- about one and a half million kilometers, or about a million miles. But, as the wisdom goes, "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades; Toutatis' flyby will have no effect whatsoever on us.

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Titan: Arizona in an Icebox?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2004/01/21 10:00 CST

A week after Huygens' descent, the emerging picture of the surface of that smoggy world is of an arid, icy desert, where periodic storms of methane rain create transient rivers that wash sooty soil from icy highlands out to short-lived pools and lakes. The pools dry up -- perhaps sinking into a sandy soil of glass-like water ice -- and the Titanian desert waits for another methane storm.

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