Lucy, a new asteroid mission, has begun preparation to target multiple asteroids in the Trojan group near Jupiter for flybys in the late 2020s. Until that date, though, astronomers are busy preparing for the mission and trying to gather all the data on these objects that we can from Earth. Buie et. al. 2018 specifically investigates Leucus and Polymele, using their light curves to tease out information about their color, composition, orbit, and reflectivity.
How do large sunspot groups affect long-term and short-term variations in solar activity?
We report on Day 1 of the winter AAS meeting in Seattle, WA. Highlights include a discussion of interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua, an overview of first results from TESS, a dragon in the Orion Nebula, and a look at the role identities play in astronomy.
Ever wonder why there aren’t more planets between Mercury and the Sun? Maybe it’s the Sun’s fault.
What can the colors of Kuiper Belt Objects tell us about how the Solar System formed and evolved?
Yes, ‘Oumuamua is weird; and no, it is probably not a probe sent by an alien civilization. Sometimes scientists (and journalists) should be a little more careful when making (and reporting on) extraordinary claims, especially when the word “alien” is involved.