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

Favorite Astro Plots #1: Asteroid orbital parameters

This is the first in a series of posts in which scientists share favorite planetary science plots. For my #FaveAstroPlot, I explain what you can see when you look at how asteroid orbit eccentricity and inclination vary with distance from the Sun.

Hangout on Air: Why yesterday was a good day for Solar System Science

On Wednesday, March 26, two important discoveries in the outer solar system were announced: the discovery of the second confirmed member of the Inner Oort Cloud (2012 VP113) and the discovery of rings around the planetesimal Chariklo. In a Hangout on Air, a rag-tag group of planetary scientists and astronomers active on Twitter talked about the discoveries.

A Centaur’s shadow reveals bright rings

Yesterday, a team of astronomers announced that they discovered a set of planet-like rings around Chariklo, an asteroid-like body that currently resides in the unstable region between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus.

2011 HM102: A new companion for Neptune

This month my latest paper made it to print in the Astronomical Journal. It's a short piece that describes a serendipitous discovery that my collaborators and I made while searching for a distant Kuiper Belt Object for the New Horizons spacecraft to visit after its 2015 Pluto flyby.

Kuiper Belt Objects Submitted to Minor Planet Center

Recently, several of the Kuiper Belt Objects our team has discovered while searching for New Horizons post-Pluto flyby candidates have been submitted to the Minor Planet Center and their orbital information is now in the public domain.

Where are the big Kuiper belt objects?

Earlier today I wrote a post about how to calculate the position of a body in space from its orbital elements. I'm trying to get a big-picture view of what's going on in trans-Neptunian space.