Category: Discovery

Surprising discovery: a ring around an asteroid

Some may say that our universe is full of beauty, others argue that it is our solar system that surprises us the most, but ultimately I will say that it is the world of small solar system bodies which is ...

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 ...

Take a break today, read this poem “Across the Dark, the Pioneers”

If you need a break today, you should read this poem  by G. Landis published recently in the Starship Century Book. Truly inspiring!     Across the Dark, the Pioneers Geoffrey A. Landis The ships first sent across the dark ocean, pebbles flung into the universe vast, rocket-propelled, ...

The Russian Meteor and Lessons Learned on Meteor Impacts

Almost 12h after the event, it is time to gather my notes on the Russian meteor event (#RussianMeteor) and my thoughts on this impact and those which may come soon. What do we know? (I collected these pieces of information from numerous ...

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 ...

Searching for Fragments of the Sutter’s Mill Meteorite

An update about the Sutter's Mill Meteorite that I mentioned yesterday. A few hours ago, I saw the pieces that Peter Jenniskens brought at the SETI Institute. I am not a meteorite expert but they indeed look like a carbonaceous chondrite meteorite. The fragments ...

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 ...

Kepler-16: Exoplanets around binary star systems DO exist

Kepler-16 is another great discovery coming from the Kepler telescope, the 10th NASA Discovery mission which is devoted to finding Earth-size exoplanets by monitoring variations of brightness due to transit. Today the Kepler team found a circumbinary exoplanet, an exoplanet ...

NASA announced key pre-selected Discovery Missions

Today NASA announced three future key missions preselected as part of the Discovery program named GEMS, TiME and Comet Hopper. This is an important announcement, which was anxiously eagerly expected by our community. The NASA Discovery program is a low-cost mission ...

A landslide of Kepler Exoplanet Candidates

There will be a before and after Kepler Era in astronomy. Today, with the release of 1,202 exoplanet candidates from data collected with the Kepler spacecraft over 140 days of observation, we have just entered in a new age of ...