Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Stardust prepares for first second look at a comet: Tempel 1 on February 14
A press briefing was held at NASA Headquarters this morning to preview the planned February 14 encounter by Stardust with Tempel 1. There aren't often lots of questions from media after these
Door 31 in the 2010 advent calendar
Time to open the thirty-first (and next-to-last) door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system are these dark-rimmed craters?
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.
In which I finally write up last week's Deep Impact Hartley 2 press briefing
On Thursday, November 4, at 13:50 UTC, Deep Impact flew within 700 kilometers of comet Hartley 2. Hartley 2 is the smallest and most active of the five comets that have been directly by a spacecraft, and the first to be visited within the lifetime of its discoverer.
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.
Animation of the five closest-approach Hartley 2 images
Those of you who follow my blog must have known this was coming: now that I got all five new Deep Impact images of Comet Hartley 2 posted and explained, I had to make an animation. Here they are.
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.
Five close-approach images of Hartley 2 by Deep Impact, with commentary
Here's the five close-approach images of Hartley 2 captured today, November 4, 2010, by the Deep Impact spacecraft, collected into one file. Boy, do these images reward close examination!
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!
Deep Impact successfully passed closest approach, signal reaquired, data downlinking
Just a very brief update to congratulate the Deep Impact team on what was apparently a successful flyby of Hartley 2!
Deep Impact's encounter with Hartley 2 is beginning; flyby in 17 hours
According to the mission timeline, the Deep Impact high-resolution observations of Hartley 2 are beginning in just a few minutes, at 20:50 according to the clock on the spacecraft.
Deep Impact movies of outbursts from Hartley 2
Since comet Hartley 2 -- the target of Deep Impact's November 4 flyby -- is near its perihelion, it's no surprise that it's an active comet with lots of outbursts.
Three days until Deep Impact's encounter with Hartley 2
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.
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.
A couple of tidbits from today's Deep Impact preview briefing
Today was the press briefing that previewed the upcoming Deep Impact flyby of Hartley 2.
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!
Deep Impact snaps first image of flyby target comet Hartley 2
Deep Impact is rapidly approaching its next -- and final -- target, comet Hartley 2, which it will fly by on November 4.
Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 30: Tempel 1
Looking over the list of planets, moons, and smaller bodies I posted so far, I realized I didn't have an image of a comet yet.
The "Water on the Moon" Hoopla, Part 2: The murkier part of the story
How much water is there on the Moon, and is it in a form that human explorers could use? This part of the story has many more questions and many fewer definite conclusions.