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Blogs

Our journalists and guest bloggers bring you stunning imagery and the space stories that matter most.

Radar in Earth and Planetary Science: An Intro

Heather Hunter • February 24, 2017 • 1

Heather Hunter explains how radar works and what it's used for on Earth and beyond.

Subsurface Water Ice in Utopia Planitia, Mars

Cassie Stuurman • November 22, 2016 • 2

Martian radar expert Cassie Stuurman explains how the SHARAD instrument aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was used to detect buried ice deposits.

DPS/EPSC update on New Horizons at the Pluto system and beyond

Emily Lakdawalla • October 25, 2016 • 4

Last week's Division for Planetary Sciences/European Planetary Science Congress meeting was chock-full of science from New Horizons at Pluto.

DPS/EPSC update: 2007 OR10 has a moon!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2016 • 3

The third-largest object known beyond Neptune, 2007 OR10, has a moon. The discovery was reported in a poster by Gábor Marton, Csaba Kiss, and Thomas Mueller at the joint meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society (DPS/EPSC) on Monday.

Rosetta spacecraft may be dying, but Rosetta science will go on

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2016 • 3

The Rosetta mission will end tomorrow when the spacecraft impacts the comet. ESA took advantage of the presence of hundreds of members of the media to put on a showcase of Rosetta science. If there’s one thing I learned today from all the science presentations, it’s this: Rosetta data will be informing scientific work for decades to come.

Gaia's first galaxy map

Emily Lakdawalla • September 14, 2016 • 3

The astronomy world is abuzz today because of ESA's announcement of the first release of data from the Gaia mission. Gaia is a five-year mission that will eventually measure the positions and motions of billions of stars; this first data release includes positions for 1.1 billion of them, and proper motions for 2 million.

Let’s be careful about this “SETI” signal

Franck Marchis • August 30, 2016 • 10

Several readers have contacted me recently about reports that a group of international astronomers have detected a strong signal coming from a distant star that could be a sign of a high-technology civilization. Here’s my reaction: it’s interesting, but it’s definitely not the sign of an alien civilization—at least not yet.

Proxima Centauri b: Have we just found Earth’s cousin right on our doorstep?

Franck Marchis • August 24, 2016 • 19

What began as a tantalizing rumor has just become an astonishing fact. Today a group of thirty-one scientists announced the discovery of a terrestrial exoplanet orbiting Proxima Centauri. The discovery of this planet, Proxima Centauri b, is a huge breakthrough not just for astronomers but for all of us. Here’s why.

Gullies on Mars: Wet or Dry (Ice)?

Tanya Harrison • August 17, 2016 • 1

Martian gullies were in the spotlight last week thanks to a NASA press release stating they were "likely not formed by liquid water" based on spectral results. But how does this stack up against their morphology?

Oppositions, conjunctions, seasons, and ring plane crossings of the giant planets

Emily Lakdawalla • July 07, 2016 • 4

When are the solstices and equinoxes on the giant planets, and when are they best positioned for view from Earth? I ask these questions a lot as I write about Earth photos of giant planets, and I finally decided to gather the answers to those questions in a single post.

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