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Camera now measuring even fainter Near-Earth Objects

Camera purchased with the support of a 2009 Shoemaker NEO Grant is now on a new telescope providing follow-up measurements for even fainter near-Earth objects.

Talking to Pluto is hard! Why it takes so long to get data back from New Horizons

As I write this post, New Horizons is nearing the end of a weeklong optical navigation campaign. The last optical navigation images in the weeklong series will be taken tomorrow, but it will likely take two weeks or more for all the data to get to Earth. Two weeks! Why does it take so long?

Dawn Journal: Closing in on Ceres

Dawn's chief engineer Marc Rayman gives an update on the mission as it gets ever closer to its next target: The dwarf planet Ceres.

How NASA's Budget Request Comes Together: Part 1

It takes a year to make, and is the starting point for all coming debate by Congress. It's the President's Budget Request, and understanding how it comes together is an important part of being an effective space advocate.

2004 BL86's flyby seen from iTelescopes (25 and 28 January 2015)

Near Earth Asteroid 2004 BL86 imaged on 25 January using iTelescope T9 at Siding Siring Observatory. 10x60 second Luminance images stacked using ImageJ and SUMMED. The asteroid is the obvious blob, all the stars are smeared as the scope tracks on the asteroid (the little dots are hot pixels). Show More Summary

Commercial Crew Rivalries: Fun to Watch, Everybody Wins

Now that Boeing and SpaceX have won the high-profile privilege of carrying astronauts to the ISS, they must start making public appearances as reluctant equals.

Fantastic Four Teaser Trailer is Out

Will this reboot finally make the grade?  Film Fantastic Four Interstellar Josh Trank X-Men Marvel

Ghostbusters 3 Has Their Cast

Release date is July 22, 2016 Film ghostbusters Ghostbusters 3 Bridesmaids Melissa McCarthy Kristen Wiig

The Sky This Week - Thursday January 29 to Thursday February 5

The Full Moon is Wednesday February 4. Venus is prominent in the twilight evening sky. Mars is just visible in the early evening twilight and is coming closer to Venus. Jupiter is visible in the late evening sky and is visited by the Moon on February 4. Show More Summary

Ceres: Just a little bit closer (and officially better than Hubble)

Last week's Dawn images of Ceres were just slightly less detailed than Hubble's best. This week's are just slightly better.

Ep. 364: The COROT Mission

Before NASA’s Kepler mission searched for exoplanets using the transit method, there was the European COROT mission, launched in 2006. It was sent to search for planets with short orbital periods and find solar oscillations in stars. It was an incredibly productive mission, and the focus of today’s show.

At last! A slew of OSIRIS images shows fascinating landscapes on Rosetta's comet

The first results of the Rosetta mission are out in Science magazine. The publication of these papers means that the OSIRIS camera team has finally released a large quantity of closeup images of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taken in August and September of last year. I explain most of them, with help from my notes from December's American Geophysical Union meeting.

Success! 2004 BL86's flyby seen (26 January 2015)

My sketch of the flyby of Near Earth Asteroid 2004 from 11:40 ACDST to 11:58 ACDST. 114mm Newtonian with 25 mm Plossel eyepiece Predicted chart of the flyby in SkyMap After a busy Australia day of waking up late, walking down the beach...Show More Summary

It's Official: LightSail Test Flight Scheduled for May 2015

This May, the first of The Planetary Society's two member-funded LightSail spacecraft is slated to hitch a ride to space for a test flight aboard an Atlas V rocket.

Exhaustive new review article on exoplanets.

One tends to roll one’s eyes when the topic turns to Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, the French encyclopedist and pre-revolutionary intellectual luminary. Buffon sounds regrettably similar to Buffoon, especially considering that The Comte is best-known for some memorable blunders. Show More Summary

UPDATE: Seeing the Close Flyby of NEO 2004 BL86 10 pm 26 January, 2015

The position of asteroid 2004 BL68 as seen at 22:00 ACDST on the evening of 26 January 2015 from Adelaide. Similar views will be seen at 22:30 AEDST and 21:30 AEST. Click to embiggen Approximate binocular view of asteroid 2004 BL68 as seen at 22:00 and 23:00 ACDST on the evening of 26 January 2015 from Adelaide. Show More Summary

I'm on the Radio this Sunday January 25, 2015

The position of asteroid 2004 BL68 as seen at astronomical twilight on the morning of 27 January 2015 (4:50 am ACDST, one and a half hours after sunset) from Adelaide. Click to embiggen On the morning of Sunday 25 January I'll be on ABC local radio (Adelaide 891 AM) with Ashley Walsh, going live around 11:40 am ACDST (11:10 AEDST, 10:10 AEST). Show More Summary

Addressing some common questions about Comet Lovejoy

Lowell Observatory's Matthew Knight addresses several points of confusion that have repeatedly come up in the coverage of Comet Lovejoy.

Hunger Games is Now the #1 Movie of 2014

The final tally's in, and Katniss is the winner Film Hunger Games Hunger Games Mockingjay Jennifer Lawrence Guardians of the Galaxy

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