Small Worlds, Big Surprises

Far from being just a jagged hunk of rock tumbling through space, the asteroid Lutetia – visited by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft this past July – has been found to be coated with a 2000-foot-thick layer of dust and rocks, visibly softening the edges of craters and ridges on its surface. This layer…

This Week in Space

Episode 24. Includes: Cool video of new space vehicle tests, Daily Show on NASA boss Charlie Bolden’s Muslim comment, Space Shuttle worker layoffs, last Atlantis shuttle fuel tank, progress we have a problem, and asteroid ready for close up. Provided by SpaceflightNow.com. Can’t view the video above? Watch on YouTube here.

Lutetia in the Limelight

On the night of Saturday, July 10, 2010, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft passed by the 80-plus-mile-wide asteroid Lutetia at a distance of less than 2000 miles, and retured a series of wonderfully detailed images of this intriguing little member of our solar system. The image above, cropped and rotated 90º, shows Lutetia’s cratered surface, covered with…