Taxonomy term

harvey leifert

Down to Earth With: The Geographers of the Solar System

Certain government officials have super cool titles: for example, Planetary Protection Officer (NASA's Catharine Conley) and Oceanographer of the Navy (David Titley). I think Geographer of the Solar System would be right up there. Alas, no one actually has that title, but in a little-known office of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) nestled in the hills above Flagstaff, Ariz., I met a dozen or so people who could reasonably qualify for it.

13 May 2012

Undressing Vesta

Researchers find surprising characteristics of the asteroid

Since last July, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting the asteroid Vesta and sending back images and other data to the delight and amazement of researchers. Among other surprising characteristics, Vesta has been shown to be one of the most colorful objects in the solar system.

05 Mar 2012