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Spectacular animation of Halley's comet
(Web Page; Mon Apr 23 01:50:00 CDT 2012)
It's a holiday and I'm enjoying time with the family, so rather than write a lot, I will let a spectacular image do the talking for me. Here is an animation of data from ESA's first interplanetary spacecraft, Giotto, launched to study H...
Space is really, really big – except sometimes it isn’t
(Web Page; Thu Aug 07 14:03:00 CDT 2014)
This article originally appeared on the Mars Express blog and is reposted here with permission.
Here's the next installment in the continuing story of how the Mars Express team is preparing for Comet Siding Spring flyby, 19 October 20...
Description: Here's the next installment in the continuing story of how the Mars Express team is preparing for Comet Siding Spring flyby, 19 October 2014. This week: introducing the spacecraft's subsystems and structure – and wondering how we can absorb impacts.
We didn't start the science
(Web Page; Mon Feb 04 16:04:00 CST 2013)
Oh this is fun. Andy Rivkin is an asteroid astronomer, an officer in the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, and troubadour. That's all the introduction you need to this video.
Nice job, Andy! Here's ...
Description: Asteroid astronomer Andy Rivkin has posted to YouTube his own awesome version of "We Didn't Start the Fire" -- with planetary science lyrics.
Things that probably won't ever be called planets, but maybe they should
(Web Page; Mon Apr 23 02:01:00 CDT 2012)
EDIT: I have now posted a single-image version of the scale asteroids and comets montage for your downloading pleasure. --ESLThe longer I listened to the "great planet debate" last week, the more strongly I felt that if it were up to me,...
Description: Things that probably won't ever be called planets, but maybe they should
Mars orbiters plan for their October encounter with comet Siding Spring
(Web Page; Wed Aug 13 18:00:00 CDT 2014)
Comet Siding Spring will pass within 134,000 kilometers of Mars on October 19. More importantly for us on Earth, the comet will pass that close to seven Martian spacecraft. Now that we have reasonable confidence that our orbiters will be...
Description: Now that we have reasonable confidence that our Mars orbiters will be safe from the close passage of comet Siding Spring, we are free to be excited about the opportunity that the encounter represents. At a community workshop on August 11, representatives from Mars missions shared their plans for great comet science.
DPS 2013: The fascination of tiny worlds
(Web Page; Fri Oct 18 11:31:00 CDT 2013)
The Division for Planetary Sciences meeting featured a broad, enjoyable set of plenary talks this year (though there can and should have been more women giving talks -- no women received prizes from the DPS this year, which just stinks)....
Description: In which I summarize Joe Veverka's Kuiper Prize talk at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting: "Small is NOT Dull: Unravelling the Complexity of Surface Processes on Asteroids, Comets and Small Satellites."
Reflecting on the success of Mars Orbiter Mission
(Web Page; Wed Sep 24 18:50:00 CDT 2014)
With the exhilarating arrival of Mars Orbiter Mission today, India has joined the ranks of interplanetary nations. Actually, you could argue that India's been interplanetary ever since Mars Orbiter Mission departed Earth's gravitational ...
Description: Mars Orbiter Mission successfully arrived at Mars on September 24, 2014, India's first interplanetary mission. What does this mean for India?
Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 4: Heaven & Hell
(Web Page; Tue Nov 12 02:45:00 CST 2013)
« Episode 3: TheHarmony of the Worlds
Episode 5: Bluesfor a Red Planet »
Halley's comet has caused a lot of trouble over the years. Wars, political upheavals, treachery, panic, and fear could all be expected i...
Description: Humans face the consequences of our own knowledge about the cosmos in this latest episode recap and analysis of Carl Sagan's classic series.
Galileo Messengers: Cruise to Venus, Earth, Gaspra, Earth, Ida, and almost to Jupiter
(Web Page; Tue Feb 05 10:38:00 CST 2013)
Almost exactly a year ago now, I wrote a post about the Galileo Messengers, newsletters that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory published a few times a year about the Galileo Jupiter mission. That post only covered the first 21 issues, which ...
Description: It's taken me a year to face the emotionally draining task of reading and writing about Galileo's cruise phase as chronicled in the mission's newsletters.
The role of press releases in space news coverage
(Web Page; Mon Dec 30 16:21:00 CST 2013)
I was not trained as a journalist, so before I started working for the Planetary Society I had no understanding of how much news reporters depend upon press releases to generate story ideas. Did you know that most of the news that you re...
Description: I was not trained as a journalist, so before I started working for the Planetary Society I had no understanding of how much news reporters depend upon press releases to generate story ideas. Did you know that most of the news that you read on the Web or in a newspaper or hear on the radio probably originated as a press release or an arranged press event from somewhere?