You are here

Karl Battams's blog

Close Encounters of the Awesome Kind

Who needs words when a picture can tell a thousand? And oh what pictures!

Feast your eyes on this small selection of close approach images from the past couple of days, taken by some extraordinarily talented astronomers and astrophotographers! (I'll update this if/when I get new pics - feel free to email them to me: [email protected], or send us details/link via our contact page, and I'll post the best ones.)

Drawing Parallels

Here we are - just one day before the "big event". In many ways it brings back memories for me from last year, when I was perched atop Kitt Peak in Arizona, waiting for comet ISON to have its shining moment in the Sun.

Couple of Brief Items

So there are just about 5-days to go until comet Siding Spring buzzes past Mars, and everyone is getting into gear to obtain some great new science! I want to keep this post brief, but there are a couple of news items I want to share.

Exciting Times

We're now less than two weeks away from Comet Siding Spring buzzing ridiculously close to Mars, and the excitement is building - in both good and bad ways...

A View from Another World

Unfortunately, and in spite of the hype we are giving it, comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is not going to be a spectacular object in the night sky. Faint, and distant from Earth, only experienced observers with moderately sized telescopes have a reasonable chance of viewing it. Well, that is in our night sky, at least...

Preparing for A-MAVEN Science!

A couple of days ago we received the great news that we have a new member of the Mars Orbiter family: MAVEN. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Mars on September 21st, 2014, marking the beginning of an extremely exciting mission that promises to unlock many of the secrets of the Martian atmosphere.

Siding Spring Risk Assessment: Addendum

Following my last blog post about the risk assessment of comet Siding Spring buzzing Mars in October, the Planetary Society kindly reposted the entry on their site as well. If you look at their version of my post, you'll see that Editor Emily Lakdawalla has made an excellent observation near the end of the page. She notes that:

Comet Siding Spring: Risk Assessment

Umm... should those two be quite that close together??

Kicking Off the Siding Spring Campaign!

For a while now we've been doing the ground-work on an observing campaign for comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring). Hopefully you know why this comet is particularly interesting, but on the off-chance that you don't, here are the main bullets:

You Thought You Were Rid of Us...

...but we're baa-aack!!

Didn't mean to make that sound creepy but, like a bad conspiracy theory, we never really go away.

Subscribe to RSS - Karl Battams's blog