Category: adaptive optics

The Next Step in Exoplanetary Science: Imaging New Worlds

In 2003, I was lucky enough to be part of a small group of astronomers that met at the University of California at Berkeley to brainstorm on an innovative idea: the design of an instrument to image and characterize planets ...

Asteroid Minerva finds its magical weapons in the sky

The International Astronomical Union has chosen the names Aegis and Gorgoneion for the two moons of the asteroid (93) Minerva.  My team discovered the small moons in 2009 using the W. M. Keck Telescope and its adaptive optics system. We ...

Everything you need to know about asteroids at the AGU Fall Meeting

It is this time of the year again... I am convening and chairing a session on Asteroids entitled "Characterizing Small Solar System Bodies" tomorrow Tuesday at the December 9th at AGU Fall Meeting. It will be composed of nine talks presented ...

How we collaborate with a group of amateur space sleuths to study the triple asteroid (87) Sylvia

I am back from the 45th annual Division of Planetary Sciences meeting in Denver, Colorado, where I presented my findings on the study of the triple asteroid system (87) Sylvia through a poster and in a press conference (video here). Located in the ...

Progress on the GPI exoplanet imager integration

The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a next generation adaptive optics instrument being built for the Gemini Observatory. This is an ambitious project with the goal of directly imaging extrasolar planets orbiting nearby stars. The instrument is currently being integrated at ...

Another fireball on Jupiter?

An amateur astronomer reported the visual detection of a fireball on Jupiter at 11:35 UT (September 10 2012) last night. It was confirmed on a video recorded from Texas. This is the 6th impact of Jupiter detected so far. Astronomer Dan ...

Is the triple Asteroid Minerva a baby-Ceres?

The official EPSC-DPS press-release about our latest discovery on the analysis of the moons of (93) Minerva and understanding of the composition of this main-belt triple system is finally out. Two years ago, I reported on this blog the discovery of ...

An ELT made of cardboard in your garden?

I am calling myself a Planetary Astronomer, essentially because I use ground-based telescopes to study our solar system bodies. Even if I often write posts on this blog  about the wonderful results brought to us by space missions, space stations ...

An Occultation by the double asteroid (90) Antiope seen in California

Last Tuesday July 19 at 3:25am PDT, several SETI REU students and colleagues from SETI institute and Observatoire de Paris were on the road. They were looking at the sky with  tiny telescopes and surrounding by complex instruments somewhere ...

FIRST@LICK: First fringes! Finally…

Already three nights on the telescope and we still have no fringes... It looks worrisome but in fact we anticipated difficulties in installing FIRST prototype which is essentially a lab testbench on the Shane telescope. The good news is that ...