Lose Your Craft in a Crack and You Can’t Get it Back

philae craft

That’s a Philae ! I know. I couldn’t resist. As soon as I saw the headlines about the lost Philae craft and how the Rosetta mission team found it lost in a crack, I had that song running through my mind.  But, behind the levity is a great story about loss and … Continue reading

What Does “Earth-like” Mean for a Planet?

Earth-like planet Proxima Centauri b

Classifying Exoplanets In the wake of the long-teased and barely embargoed story about the discovery of Earth-like planet Proxima Centauri b last week, the press really ran with the idea of it being “just like Earth”. That’s really a misleading way to report on an astonishing finding. Judging by some … Continue reading

Proxima Centauri b Found: The Closest Earth-like Planet to Earth

The view from Proxima Centauri b.

Long Rumored, Finally Announced The rumors have been floating around for weeks about a supposed planet orbiting Proxima Centauri — the closest star to the Sun. That’s a star visible (through a telescope) from the Southern Hemisphere in the constellation Centaurus. It’s part of a triple system, headlined by Alpha … Continue reading

The Rosetta Mission at Comet 67P Will Soon End

UP close and personal with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  Courtesy Rosetta/ESA.

Studying a Comet Long Term I’ve been a comet fan since my grad school days. That was when I got pointed at Comet Halley and told, “study these images, and let’s figure out what’s happening with the plasma tail”. So, I pored over images of the comet taken from 1985-1986. … Continue reading