Photograph copyright © Sirja Melto. All rights reserved.
Photo: Copyright © Sirja Melto. All rights reserved.

Asteroid Scheila Sprouts a Tail and Coma
When is an asteroid not an asteroid? When it turns out to be a comet, of course.
(Universe Today, Dec 12, 2010)

Two Asteroids to Pass the Earth on Sept. 8.
According to Space News, two asteroids will pass the Earth on Wednesday. They have unrelated orbits and will pass between the Earth and the Moon one early in the morning, the other in the late afternoon.
(Planet Waves Daily Astrology & Adventure, Sep 07, 2010)

Pluto's Dwarf Planet Family Could Get Bigger
According to a paper presented at the Proceedings of the 9th Australian Space Science Conference, the definition of a dwarf planet should be revised to include many smaller objects too.
(Discovery News, Apr 09, 2010)

New Hubble Maps of Pluto Show Surface Changes
NASA has released the most detailed set of images ever taken of the distant dwarf planet Pluto.
(NASA News, Feb 04, 2010)

Asteroid Juno Grabs the Spotlight
Toward the end of September, the sun will turn a spotlight on the asteroid Juno, giving that bulky lump of rock a rare featured cameo in the night sky.
(NASA News, Sep 16, 2009)

Largest Comet Outburst Sent "Mini Comets" Flying
Comet Holmes mysteriously erupted in 2007. Astronomers have announced that the comet was seen firing multiple "mini comets" that went sailing away at up to 280 miles (451 kilometers) an hour.
(National Geographic News, Sep 16, 2009)

A dark, red spot on KBO Haumea
A dark red area discovered on dwarf planet Haumea appears to be richer in minerals and organic compounds than the surrounding icy surface. The discovery is presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam by Dr. Pedro Lacerda on Wednesday 16 September.
(Astrobiology Magazine, Sep 16, 2009)

Longest Solar Eclipse of the 21st Century
The longest solar eclipse of the 21st century takes place this Wednesday, July 22nd. The path of totality crosses many major cities, setting the stage for possibly the best-observed eclipse in human history.
(NASA Science News, Jul 20, 2009)

Pluto's kin may have invaded asteroid belt
Millions of objects in the solar system's main asteroid belt may be icy interlopers from beyond Neptune that were flung into their present orbits after a violent migration of the giant planets, a new simulation suggests.
(NewScientist, July 15, 2009)

New Horizons Wakes For Annual Checkout
New Horizons is up from the longest nap of its cruise to Pluto, as operators "woke" the spacecraft from hibernation for its annual series of checkouts and tests.
(SpaceDaily, Jul 09, 2009)

The Weirdest Object in the Solar System?
The dwarf planet Haumea and its moon Namaka are currently undergoing a series of mutual occultations and eclipses. One particularly exciting observation will be made with the renewed Hubble Space Telescope in a few weeks. Hubble will watch an occultation of Haumea's two satellite, an event that occurs only twice every 300 years.
(, June 22, 2009)

Venetia Phair, who named planet Pluto, dies at 90
Venetia Phair, who was 11 years old when she suggested Pluto as the name of the newly discovered planet, has died at age 90, her family said.
(Yahoo! News, May 7, 2009)

Nearby asteroid found orbiting sun backwards
The discovery of a 2- to 3-kilometre-wide asteroid in an orbit that goes backwards has set astronomers scratching their heads. It comes closer to Earth than any other object in a 'retrograde' orbit, and astronomers think they should have spotted it before.
(NewScientist, May 1, 2009)

(NewScientist, Apr 29, 2009)

Solar Wind Tans Young Asteroids
A new study published in Nature reveals that asteroid surfaces age and redden much faster than previously thought - in less than a million years, the blink of an eye for an asteroid. This study has finally confirmed that the solar wind is the most likely cause of very rapid space weathering in asteroids.
(SpaceDaily, Apr 24, 2009)

Electric sail test mission with first Estonian satellite
The electric solar wind sail was invented in Finland in 2006 and with its revolutionary efficiency it promises faster and cheaper access to the solar system for small and medium-sized spacecraft. Now Estonia and Finland are joining forces to develop the first-ever orbital test of the electric sail physical principle and technology. The ESTCube-1 is Estonia's first satellite, with planned launch in 2012.
(Finnish Meteorological Institute, Apr 17, 2009)

Destination: Ceres!
Plans are being drawn up for a low-cost mission to land on the dwarf planet Ceres. Known as the Ceres Polar Lander, it would examine polar regions and search for alien organisms.
(Astrobiology Magazine, Apr 16, 2009)