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LightSail Featured on NPR's Science Friday

Susan Lendroth • November 12, 2009

Our Executive Director Lou Friedman joins host Ira Flatow on NPR's Science Friday -- November 13 -- for a live chat about The Planetary Society's exciting new solar sail project.

Two new names in the solar system: Herse and Weywot

Emily Lakdawalla • November 12, 2009

Via the USGS I learned that Jupiter has passed a milestone of sorts, and now has fifty named satellites.

First space imaging class tomorrow, 10:30 a.m. Pacific / 18:30 UT

Emily Lakdawalla • November 12, 2009

The topic of the first class is: "Images Are Data." I'll go through how images actually represent scientific data, some very basic image processing stuff like histogram adjustment and what that does to the data, and what RGB color images are and how to compose them.

Highlights from today's Spirit press briefing

Emily Lakdawalla • November 12, 2009

Since A. J. S. Rayl was also listening in on today's press briefing about the efforts to extricate Spirit from her predicament at Troy, I'll just hit the high points and send you over to her story when she has posted it.

Crescent Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • November 12, 2009

Just hours away from its Earth flyby, Rosetta is busily snapping images and gathering other science data.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Begins Extraction Process

A.J.S. Rayl • November 12, 2009

On Monday, November 16, 2009, Mars Exploration Rover Spirit will begin the much-anticipated, weeks-long process of extricating itself from a patch of powdery soil that stopped it in its tracks six months ago. It will begin by driving forward to the north, following its tracks out, even though its right front wheel is broken and immobilized.

Hayabusa stumbles on the path back to Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • November 11, 2009

JAXA issued a press release (in Japanese) on November 9 stating that one of Hayabusa's ion thrusters, thruster D, had stopped operating. Hayabusa launched with four ion thrusters, but D was one of only two that are still functioning. So the failure of thruster D is a serious problem.

Tracking the stars -- and Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • November 11, 2009

This was a neat photo from ESA today.

Four moons and a ring

Emily Lakdawalla • November 10, 2009

Thanks to Mike Malaska for the tip on this one. The image is part of an animation that ends with Rhea transiting Saturn.

Rosetta is homing in on Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • November 10, 2009

Heads up! ESA's Rosetta spacecraft is approaching for its last flyby of Earth, on Friday, November 13.

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