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Blog Archive

 

How far they'll go: Moana shows the power of Polynesian celestial navigation

Duane W. Hamacher and Carla Bento Guedes • November 21, 2017

The Polynesian peoples' astronomical knowledge helped them colonize the vast Pacific Ocean.

Emily's recommended space books for kids of all ages, 2017

Emily Lakdawalla • November 15, 2017

Welcome to my ninth annual recommendations and gift guide to books about space, planets, and astronauts for kids of all ages!

This newly discovered Earth-sized planet could harbor life

Jason Davis • November 15, 2017

And it's only 11 light-years away.

Reminder: The Giant Magellan Telescope is going to be awesome

Jason Davis • November 10, 2017

The GMT will characterize Earth-size exoplanets' atmospheres, looking for compounds that indicate the presence of life.

Planetary Society asteroid hunter snags picture of interstellar visitor ʻOumuamua

Jason Davis • November 07, 2017

Asteroid hunters named the first-known interstellar asteroid ʻOumuamua as a nod to its scout-like traits.

Sharing Space in Australia

Erin Greeson • November 06, 2017

The Planetary Society’s 2017 journey to Australia expanded our perspective, advocacy and global community. It was rich with reminders close to Carl Sagan’s heart: We are all connected through time, humankind, and our origins in the stars.

Dawn Journal: Second Extended Mission

Marc Rayman • November 03, 2017

Building on the successes of its primary mission and its first extended mission, NASA has approved the veteran explorer for a second extended mission.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Pops Wheelies Over Etched Rocks in Perseverance

A.J.S. Rayl • November 02, 2017

As brutally cold got even colder at Endeavour Crater in October, the depths of winter gripped Opportunity, and ‘life’ on Mars slowed. But the robot field geologist continued to work on through the doldrums of the season.

Mastcam-Z team blog: Preparing for five-hour operations

Elsa Jensen and Katherine Winchell • November 02, 2017

It takes hundreds of scientists and engineers many years to design and build just one instrument for a Mars mission. In the first Mastcam-Z team blog post, we'll talk about the special challenges we expect for Mars 2020 operations, and how we're planning to overcome them.

Bridenstine makes his case for NASA administrator job

Jason Davis • November 01, 2017

Republicans and Democrats spent nearly 3 hours showering Bridenstine with both praise and criticism.

After Cassini, What’s Next for the Outer Planets?

Casey Dreier • October 31, 2017

The Planetary Society likes to look ahead, and in that spirit we organized a reception at the Library of Congress to bring scientists, legislators, and their staff together to honor Cassini and get excited about our future in the outer planets.

#DPS17: The Moon's Giordano Bruno crater through many eyes

Emily Lakdawalla • October 30, 2017

Today's story from the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting looks at one youthful rayed crater on the Moon from many different spacecraft.

Then vs. Now: How the Debate Over a Distant Planet in the Solar System Has Evolved

Stephanie Hamilton • October 30, 2017

What have we learned about the distant objects in our Solar System beyond Neptune in the past year?

Explore spinnable Saturn and Jupiter moons with Google Maps

Emily Lakdawalla • October 27, 2017

Google Maps released several new map products that allow you to see the locations of named features on many solar system planets and non-planets, spinning them around in space with your mouse.

Here's how engineers closed out LightSail 2 for flight

Jason Davis • October 27, 2017

The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft is in a flight-ready state, marking a major milestone for the program.

Is there anybody out there?

Jason Davis • October 25, 2017

The Planetary Society's latest feature story examines the past, present and future of SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

#DPS17: Wobbling the Moon and art by James Tuttle Keane

Emily Lakdawalla • October 24, 2017

James Tuttle Keane is increasingly famous (among planetary scientists anyway) for his remarkable illustrated notes from conferences. Here's his work from the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting, illustrating both his own and others' research.

#DPS2017: Progress report on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter images of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring

Emily Lakdawalla • October 20, 2017

Three years ago, on October 19, 2014, comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring passed within 138,000 kilometers of Mars. At the 2017 meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, we heard a progress report on Mars orbiter imaging of the comet's nucleus.

Planetary Society-funded telescopes help find ring around Haumea, a distant dwarf planet

Jason Davis • October 11, 2017

Haumea has a ring! Two telescopes used in the discovery—one in Slovenia, and one in Italy—received funding from The Planetary Society's Shoemaker Near Earth Object (NEO) Grant program, which helps amateur astronomers find, track and characterize near-Earth asteroids.

American R&D Policy and the Push for Small Planetary Missions at NASA

Jason Callahan • October 11, 2017

Planetary Society Policy Adviser Jason Callahan summarizes his paper he presented at the 2017 International Astronautical Congress in Australia, where he examined NASA's low-cost Discovery program and how federal policies directed at higher education initially bolstered planetary science into a viable field.

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