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Our journalists and guest bloggers bring you stunning imagery and the space stories that matter most.

A case of the measles for Jupiter?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2013 • 1

Amateur astronomer Christopher Go has found Jupiter to be putting on a fun show for observers: it's sprouting little red spots "like it has a measles attack!"

Comet ISON Enters the Final Countdown

Karl Battams • November 19, 2013 • 6

We're now less than two weeks away from comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) reaching perihelion and, if we’re honest, we are still none the wiser as to how the situation might play out!

Neptune: The new amateur boundary?

Christophe Pellier • November 07, 2013 • 3

Can features on Neptune be observed by amateur astronomers? For years, the Hubble Space Telescope and some professional terrestrial observatories have been revealing incomplete belts and spots on the surface of Neptune. Now, spots have been imaged by amateurs.

Asteroid Telescope First Light

Bruce Betts • August 16, 2013 • 5

Using a Shoemaker NEO Grant a new telescope is operating in Illinois to do asteroid tracking.

Comet ISON lives on! (we think...)

Karl Battams • August 13, 2013 • 1

For several weeks now, ground-based observers have been blind to Comet ISON as our local star was sitting directly between us and the comet. I am delighted to share two pieces of good news: first, that ISON is still alive and well, and secondly that it has been recovered.

Found a Killer Asteroid? Who Ya Gonna Call?

Mat Kaplan • July 08, 2013

Astronomer Timothy Spahr directs the Minor Planet Center, the global clearinghouse for asteroids, comets and other relatively small objects in the solar system, including moons. He also coordinates the Society's Shoemaker NEO grant program.

Checking in on Jupiter

Emily Lakdawalla • March 12, 2013 • 2

We don't have any spacecraft at Jupiter right now, which is a pity. Until we do, we have to rely upon Earth-based astronomers to monitor the changing face of the largest planet.

Saturn's Hexagon Viewed from the Ground

Leigh Fletcher • February 01, 2013 • 2

For the first time, amateur astronomers are capturing spectacular images of Saturn's bizarre north polar hexagon.

Shoemaker Winner Hug Discovers Near Earth Asteroid 2013 AS27

Bruce Betts • January 10, 2013 • 8

Using a Planetary Society provided camera, Gary Hug in Kansas, USA discovered Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2013 AS27 on Jan. 7, 2013. Shoemaker winner Bob Holmes provided the first follow up observations of this 140m-310m wide asteroid.

Comet ISON: 30% chance of awesome, 60% chance of that being wrong

Bill Gray • September 25, 2012 • 10

A very interesting comet has recently been discovered -- interesting because it will nearly graze the Sun in August 2013 and then approach Earth closely the following December. Whether it will turn out to be a great comet is impossible to know.

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