Emily Lakdawalla's blogs from 2010
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/01 01:27 CDT
The week is finally here: Deep Impact flies past Hartley 2, the smallest comet yet to be visited by a spacecraft, on Thursday, November 4 at 13:50 UTC.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/29 12:08 CDT
The Cassini Raw Images Website always offers rewards to the browser. This evening I found the raw images necessary to create this color composite, showing the hazy orange moon Titan, the mid-sized icy moon Dione, and the tiny rock Prometheus all at the same time.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/28 12:19 CDT
(I promise that this post will get around to the subject of space exploration in a couple of paragraphs.)
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/26 10:18 CDT
175th Carnival of Space!? That means the Carnival of Space has been going on for nearly 4 years. Or just about 2 Mars years. Pretty amazing.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/26 03:01 CDT
Today was the press briefing that previewed the upcoming Deep Impact flyby of Hartley 2.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/25 11:18 CDT
An awful lot of the talks in the Pluto session on Tuesday morning, October 5, at the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting spent more time focusing on how bad weather conditions were during the astronomers' attempts to view Pluto as it occulted background stars than they did on any measurements or science that came out from the data.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/22 01:33 CDT
Curiosity Cam: Watch Men and Women in White build a Mars rover live!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/21 06:03 CDT
LCROSS finds lots of water in accessible places at the Moon's south pole -- but we'll have to tread carefully
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/21 11:30 CDT
Hey Federal employees! Send your CFC funds to the Planetary Society
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/20 02:02 CDT
A Rhea flyby and a cloudy Titan with Tethys in color
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/19 06:51 CDT
Meeting the President and a Few Other Amazing People
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/15 03:45 CDT
Voyager Mission Status Bulletins: The Voyager 2 Uranus flyby
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/14 07:02 CDT
Waaaay back when Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars in January 2004, the Planetary Society helped the public participate in the missions with a number of projects, including one where we printed "secret codes" around the edges of the two names-bearing DVDs that were bolted to the Mars Exploration Rover landers.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/13 05:07 CDT
This news is a little old but worth mentioning: On September 9, the Japanese solar sail mission, IKAROS, won a Web award in Japan for their work to publicize the mission via Twitter.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/06 11:24 CDT
Little notes from Monday at DPS 2010: Iapetus, Kiviuq, LHB, Steins, Cherry Gary, and more
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/06 05:26 CDT
DPS 2010: Making Saturn's rings and moons all at once
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/05 03:46 CDT
I'm so proud 1: UnmannedSpaceflight.com now partnered with the Planetary Society
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/04 10:35 CDT
Great news for asteroid surveys from WISE and Arecibo
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/02 10:39 CDT
Fourth MSL Landing Site Workshop: Day 3: Final discussion
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/01 11:23 CDT
Pretty picture: High-res color view of Prometheus and the F ring
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/01 04:58 CDT
Division of Planetary Sciences meeting next week; Career Panel Sunday
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/10/01 02:36 CDT
Fourth MSL Landing Site Workshop: Day 3: Engineering constraints
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/30 12:46 CDT
I just posted the following update to the Mars Climate Sounder Team Website. I didn't realize until this message came in to my inbox that it is now one Mars year before Curiosity lands. Tick, tick, tick...
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/30 12:04 CDT
Here are a few photos of Chang'E 2 meeting its launch vehicle in Xichang. It's a beautiful view of the spacecraft.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/30 11:37 CDT
I left the first day of the Fourth Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site Community Workshop on Monday just as they were getting in to the site-specific presentations. I left with no concern that I'd miss anything, though, because I knew that once he got done presenting his own work on Gale Crater, Cornell grad student Ryan Anderson would be taking notes and blogging the presentations on the other three sites.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/30 11:33 CDT
Carnival of Space #171 is live over at Starry Critters. Every week, a different webmaster or blogger hosts the Carnival, showcasing articles written on the topic of space.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/29 01:34 CDT
Out in space, the most exciting things cooking this month are on Deep Impact, which is fast approaching comet Hartley 2 for a November 4 encounter, and at the Moon, which should soon see a second orbiter, China's Chang'E 2, which is set to launch Friday.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/28 05:57 CDT
I apologize in advance for the expanse of text, but I hope that some of you will find the details interesting.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/27 05:59 CDT
Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, about 200 scientists and engineers will sit in an over-air-conditioned room in Monrovia, California to participate in what is officially titled the "Fourth Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site Community Workshop."
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/24 01:27 CDT
Last week I posted a stack of Voyager Mission Status Bulletins, which were once the main resource for space enthusiasts to follow the dramatic events and photos of an in-flight space mission.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/23 12:12 CDT
Pioneer Venus discovered a stable "dipole" near Venus' north pole, and Venus Express found the same thing near Venus' south pole. Except now Venus Express has found it's not as stable as once thought.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/22 05:17 CDT
Opportunity is continuing to make tracks toward Endeavour crater, but just because she's got a goal for her road trip doesn't mean she won't stop and smell the flowers from time to time. Er, did I say "flowers?" I meant "meteorites."
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/16 01:56 CDT
I'm listening to a press briefing from several members of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter science team, regarding three papers published today in Science.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/15 04:38 CDT
What a difference a couple of months of driving make. Here's the sort of view of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's road ahead that I'm accustomed to, taken two months ago.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/12 10:50 CDT
Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, The Flight of Hayabusa, a recap of that dramatic mission.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/08 01:31 CDT
Most of you have probably heard by now of two small asteroids, both in the neighborhood of 10 meters in diameter, recently discovered on trajectories that pass unusually close to Earth.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/08 12:51 CDT
Deep Impact is rapidly approaching its next -- and final -- target, comet Hartley 2, which it will fly by on November 4.
If I have to, I will drag reluctant people one at a time to plunge into NASA's Planetary Data System.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/30 03:20 CDT
Congratulations to the Mars Climate Sounder team on winning a spot for a successor instrument aboard the next Mars orbiter, the joint NASA-ESA ExoMars, set to launch in 2016.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/27 05:02 CDT
I've had a fun morning of noodling around learning how to write KML files, and have produced one for Google Mars that shows you all of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter tracks that cross the area Opportunity has driven through already, as well as the area of Endeavour crater.
I got an advance copy of the first episode of "Bad Astronomer" Phil Plait's new series Bad Universe today.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/24 11:36 CDT
Following up on the story I first posted on August 22, the Jupiter impact fireball first noticed by Japanese amateur astronomer Masayuki Tachikawa has been independently confirmed by two other Japanese astronomers.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/22 05:03 CDT
This may be a very common event after all: another optical flash has been observed on Jupiter, again from an observer far east of the Greenwich meridian, though it was not Anthony Wesley (for once).
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/19 05:25 CDT
Sky & Telescope has just issued a set of 10 DVDs that contain every issue of the magazine published from the premier issue in November 1941 through December 2009, chronicling seven decades of scientific discovery and, of course, the entirety of the Space Age.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/17 12:04 CDT
MESSENGER is in a unique position in the solar system, orbiting the Sun well within the orbit of Venus. From there, it can gaze outward from the Sun to search for tiny objects that may possibly be traveling in the same region, called vulcanoids.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/14 06:52 CDT
Over the last couple of days Cassini flew past Enceladus, Tethys and Dione, so there are lots of treats to see on the raw images website! You should go check it out for yourself, but here are a couple of real favorites.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/13 10:52 CDT
Congratulations to Scott Sheppard and Chad Trujillo for identifying the first known L5 Trojan asteroid of Neptune!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/12 11:10 CDT
This note was included in yesterday's newsletter to members of the American Astronomical Society's Division of Planetary Sciences, and I wanted to make sure that you scientists reading this blog didn't miss it.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/11 09:08 CDT
The "Mars Webcam" on Mars Express (otherwise known as the Visual Monitoring Camera or VMC) has just restarted sending images to Earth after a bit of a hiatus.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/09 04:48 CDT
Today is the very last day to add your name to the great big birthday card that The Planetary Society is sending to Ray Bradbury on the occasion of his 90th birthday (which will be on August 22)!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/04 11:18 CDT
Tomorrow the Planetary Society is hosting an open house at our new headquarters, and that fact was front page news at our local newspaper, the Pasadena Star-News, this morning!
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.