SELENE at the Moon

SELENE at the Moon

It’s a day of missions. I just left the MESSENGER session to sit in on part of the SELENE mission session. This new craft on the block is a Japanese produced and is returned hi resolution images and movies back to Earth as it systematically acquires topographic maps of Earth’s moon. SELENE, which is also called KAGUYA is actually three space craft: a main orbiter, a Relay Satellite, and the VRAD Satellite. The SELENE image gallary can be found here. One of the more visually interesting things they are doing is taking images with a Hi-Def Video camera. (image credit: 2007 JAXA/SELENE, click image above for hi res image) In addition to the scientifically not so useful (but public attracting) hi-def camera there are roughly a data taking dozen...

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10 days of Space Science!

10 days of Space Science!

This is going to be another crazy wonderful week on Astronomy Cast Live. Just like we covered the American Astronomical Society meeting last January, this week we will be covering BOTH the launch of STS-123 and the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, TX. Making this possible are: Scott Miller (A SIUE student I work with) who is spending his Spring Break in Florida for the launch, Rebecca Bemrose-Fetter who is spending her Spring Break in Texas at the LPSC, and of course me and Fraser. I will be in Texas at LPSC, and Fraser will be participating remotely, working to help get you wall-to-wall coverage of all that is going on Johnson Space Flight Center to Kennedy Space Flight Center. We invite you to join us, and ask you to please announce the...

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ISS until 2016. Science never?

This newspaper article really says all that needs to be said (hat tip to Chuck Pullen). I didn’t know until I read this that ISS was only funded through 2016. It’s insane how much money we’re spending for something that still fails to meet its international obligations and has very limited science capabilities.

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NASA let’s the Women Drive

In case you haven’t heard it from Phil enough times, Emily Lakdawalla is one of the coolest bloggers out there. Her blog touches on all things planetary and when some thing is not quit right or clear with an image, Emily will download the raw mission images and put them together and explain what we’re seeing with the authority of an image junkie with a strong science background. She does all this while raising a cute little kid and finding the time to participate in the astronomy community on neat projects like the International Year of Astronomy. Emily is a great role model for anyone thinking of balancing family and career (so are Fraser and Phil – they are two dads to little kids who have both abandoned me in Skype to play with little ones...

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To Hubble with Love

To Hubble with Love

For my entire professional astronomer life, Hubble has been there as a beloved icon of what scientists can accomplish technically and scientifically when they are given the opportunity to dream. The images most of us think of when we pull up a mental image of the universe came from Hubble: The Whirlpool, The Pillars of Creation, and even Jupiter during Shoemaker-Levy 9. Today NASA is telling us how the plan to keep Hubble imaging into the next several years and keep this amazing telescope creating iconic images until James Webb is ready to replace her. After Servicing mission 4, scheduled for roughly August 2008 (I suspect we’ll see delays), Hubble will have 90 times its original sensitivity. While capable of unparalleled imaging, Hubble has always been a...

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Of Bathrooms and Underware

Ok, I have to admit that is a title I never thought I’d use, but it was a weird day. Somehow, bathrooms/toilet rooms, and underware just kept coming up as topics. For instance at lunch… We’d wandered onto a nauseating topic, so I mentioned, to distract things, that my husband and I spent the weekend tiling our bathroom (we’re still repairing from this*), and somehow this lead to much discussion involving Thomas Crapper, his (it turns out non-)discovery of the flush toilet, and how while toilets have been around since the 1730s, my 1893 house wasn’t built with any bathrooms (leading to much weirdness in design, since three were subsequently added). It is a curious mystery as to how the first US patent for a flush toilet was granted in...

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