Monday, November 08, 2010

Pluto is bigger than Eris

A rare occultation of a star by the Kuiper Belt Object known as Eris was recorded in several stations in Chile and at first glance the data suggest Eris is in fact smaller than Pluto--the albedo of Eris must be higher than predicted.

Sky & Telescope has a good write-up.

Here's a report from one of the observers.

And here's Mike Brown's take on the observation (An observation of the observation).

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Comet Hartley 2 close-up by EPOXI

Oh man, this is great. The radar images from last week indicated the comet was dog-boned shaped but the close-ups from the former Deep Impact/now EPOXI mission are great and confirmed the nature of this heterogeneous object. In other words, this looks just like some of the asteroids out there.

Credit: NASA / JPL / UMD / Emily Lakdawalla
Click to enlarge