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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Small Worlds

Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Small Worlds, about the smaller denizens of the solar system visited in the past year, and due to be visited in the next.

Deep Impact at Hartley 2: Two weeks after the flyby

Today the Deep Impact/EPOXI science team held a press briefing that followed up on their very successful flyby of two weeks ago, a status report on what they can say so far about the science that's coming out of the encounter.

Asteroids and comets to scale, including Hartley 2

Just in time for today's Deep Impact press briefing, which you can watch on NASA TV in a few minutes: I've updated my montage of all the asteroids and comets that have been visited and photographed to include Hartley 2.

Hartley 2 compared to other comets, and in motion 3D

I had to catch up with tasks left undone at home today and didn't have time to write up my notes from the Hartley 2 press briefing, for which I apologize. I'll leave you for the weekend with three cool Hartley 2 pictures.

Hartley 2's jets

It was a very happy set of scientists, engineers, managers, and administrators who filled the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Von Karman auditorium this afternoon to do the postgame show on Deep Impact's flyby of Hartley 2.

Close approach images of Hartley 2!

What a dramatic and cool photo! An asteroid with two lobes like Borrelly, lumpy and bouldery like Itokawa, with gorgeous active jets, dramatically lit. Well done, Deep Impact team!

Arecibo images show Hartley 2 is elongated

Comet Hartley 2, the target for Deep Impact's close flyby (now just six days away!) made its closest approach to Earth on October 20, at a distance of 17.7 million kilometers.

Deep Impact approaching Hartley 2

The Deep Impact spacecraft team has released a third image from their approach to comet Hartley 2, and for me, three images is an invitation to make an animation!

The Stardust Sample Catalog

It never ceases to amaze me how much science is being wrung out of the few grams of material that were returned to Earth by the Stardust mission.

Progress on WISE's asteroid survey

I wrote some time ago about the expectations for the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)'s contributions to solar system science. A couple of days ago, JPL posted an image and movie documenting the progress to date.

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