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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Sorry for the quiet last week -- time to catch up

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

06-04-2009 12:42 CDT


Apologies to all of you for the lack of posts here last week -- my doctor has confined me to bed rest (don't worry, there's no problem other than that the baby seems to want to arrive a bit too early) and I didn't find it easy to type from a reclining position. But I've now traded my reclining position for sitting up (for a few hours a day anyway) on the couch, so I can do a little bit of catching up before departing for maternity leave. I'm afraid I can't tell you whether that's going to be days from now or weeks from now -- I wish I knew! Anyway, on to business.

I have a few things to post from last week, so watch for those to appear this morning! Here's a few other random items gleaned from my inbox.

There's an update on the status of the next solar sail mission on our website here.

I missed a lot of April Fool's fun -- here's one of my favorites.Carnival of Space #97 is being hosted at Cheap Astronomy.

Apparently, solar activity has reached new lows; we're currently at 11 days without a sunspot, and 86% of the days in 2009 have seen a totally spotless Sun. The minimum is so deep that now has a new home page widget that tracks spotless days, instead of counting the number of spots.

Do you have a new Ph.D. in physics and need a job? There's a postdoctoral position open on the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer team at University College London.

I hadn't seen this before -- the asteroid orbit viewer thingy at JPL's Near Earth Objects website has been configured to show the orbits of the Stardust spacecraft and comet Tempel 1 -- the two will have a close encounter on February 14, 2011.

Calendar note: the next Shuttle mission will be STS-125 to service the Hubble Space Telescope for the last time. Liftoff is currently planned for May 12...

Finally, I just want to point out the fact that the Society is offering a 1-gigabyte USB memory stick to new members if you sign up here. That seems like a pretty good deal to me!

See other posts from April 2009


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