Author Archives: Robert Naeye

Anthony Wesley with scope

Planetary Sentinel

In the past two years, Australian amateur astrophotographer Anthony Wesley has discovered not one, but two impacts on Jupiter. That’s two more than the entire worldwide community of professional astronomers have discovered since the 21 large fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed into the giant planet in July 1994. Why does Wesley shoot the planets…

Scott Bolton

Peering Beneath Jupiter’s Clouds

Sometime in August, NASA’s next major interplanetary mission — Juno — will ride into space atop an Atlas V551 rocket. It’s destination is mighty Jupiter, the King of the Planets. Juno will go into orbit around the gas giant in July 2016. Over the course of the next year, Juno will use its powerful suite…

Dan Durda Talks About Asteroid Deflection

What would happen if astronomers found a large asteroid on a collision course with Earth? In the December 2010 issue of S&T, planetary scientist Dan Durda of the Southwest Research Institute describes a number of methods that could be used to avert disaster. In a follow-up to Dan’s article, S&T editor in chief Robert Naeye…

amateur asteroid researcher Robert Stephens

Robert Stephens Talks about Amateur Asteroid Research

Over the years, amateur astronomers have discovered tens of thousands of asteroids. But in recent years, amateur involvement in asteroid studies has shifted gears. Robert Stephens, an amateur astronomer based near Los Angeles, exemplifies this new era of research. Instead of actively searching for new asteroids, Bob makes brightness measurements of asteroids to find out…

infrared astronomer Luke Keller

Luke Keller Talks about SOFIA

NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, better know as SOFIA, is gearing up for its science mission. The flying observatory and its 2.5-meter telescope saw first light from the air this past May. Later this year it will begin science flights in earnest, and in the coming decades it should teach astronomers a great deal…

exoplanet hunter Sara Seager

Sara Seager Talks about Super-Earths

The count of known planets outside the solar system continues to rise. At the time of this writing in mid-August, the tally stands at about 470. But it’s not just the rising number of known worlds that demonstrates the remarkably rapid progress in exoplanet research. Astronomers are finding new types of planets, especially those with…

New Horizons Space Art, Casey Reed

Alan Stern Talks about Pluto

Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission, which is now more than halfway to Pluto, explains how the spacecraft will explore parts of the solar system that are now shrouded in mystery.

Exoplanet News Roundup

From little red dwarfs to big blue blazers, stars of all masses seem to form planets robustly. That's just one item from the latest crop of exoplanet news.

WISE first-light image

WISE Sees First Light

Scientists unveil the first image from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer satellite, which will map the sky in depth and detail at new wavelengths.