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Blog Archive

 

More Evidence for a Habitable Mars from EGU 2013

Casey Dreier • April 08, 2013

NASA's Curiosity rover has acquired further evidence that Mars's atmosphere was once dense enough to support liquid water on the surface.

The Stormscapes of Saturn

Bill Dunford • March 04, 2013

Look past the rings, and Saturn is even stranger--and more breathtaking.

Saturn's Hexagon Viewed from the Ground

Leigh Fletcher • February 01, 2013

For the first time, amateur astronomers are capturing spectacular images of Saturn's bizarre north polar hexagon.

Weather Report: Mars

Bill Dunford • January 28, 2013

Just like on Earth, clouds and storms often ripple through the Martian atmosphere. You can even check the daily weather report.

That amazing image of Saturn's north pole just got better: now, it moves!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 28, 2012

Remember the amazing photo of Saturn's north pole that I posted yesterday? Now, thanks to an amateur image processor, it moves, and the motions of the individual clouds within the belts are mesmerizing.

Staring into Saturn's baleful eye

Emily Lakdawalla • November 27, 2012

Amazing photos have just come back from Cassini, of swirling clouds surrounding Saturn's north pole.

Curiosity, Endeavour, and Bill Nye on Your Phone

Mat Kaplan • November 07, 2012

This week's Planetary Radio episode presents highlights of the first Curiosity press briefing about the Martian atmosphere, and then takes you to the opening day ceremony for Shuttle Endeavour. You have till Friday, November 9, at 10am Pacific to send your 10th anniversary message to the show and possibly win Bill Nye on your answering machine.

DPS 2012: The most detailed images of Uranus' atmosphere ever

Emily Lakdawalla • October 22, 2012

New ground-based images of Uranus show more finely detailed structure than any photos I have ever seen.

New spots on Uranus

Emily Lakdawalla • August 22, 2012

New Hubble photos show that Uranus has both dark and bright spots!

Checking up on Jupiter and Saturn

Emily Lakdawalla • February 10, 2012

It's amateur astronomers, not professionals, who are shouldering the burden of constant monitoring of the weather on Jupiter and Saturn. What's going on these days in the outer solar system?

Earth observing satellites record large Arctic ozone loss

Jason Davis • October 14, 2011

Data from Earth observing satellites Aura and CALIPSO have shown record losses of seasonal ozone in the Arctic.

Notes from Day 5 of the EPSC/DPS meeting: Saturn's storm, Phobos, and Lutetia

Emily Lakdawalla • October 07, 2011

Today was (is) the last day of the Division of Planetary Sciences / European Planetary Science Congress meeting in Nantes, France.

New Horizons Day 2: Liquids on Pluto's surface?

Emily Lakdawalla • September 13, 2011

Jeff Moore's presentation was cool because of the discussion it stimulated. He considered what exogenic processes might be operating on Pluto's surface. What's an exogenic process? It's something that modifies the shape of the surface from the outside, and doesn't require the body to be geologically active inside.

New Horizons workshop, day 1: Chemistry & climate on Pluto & other cold places

Emily Lakdawalla • August 30, 2011

Today and tomorrow I'm attending the New Horizons Workshop on Icy Surface Processes. The first day was all about the composition of the surface and atmosphere of Pluto, Charon, Triton, and other distant places.

The Making of Martian Clouds in Motion: Part 2, tweening the animation

Emily Lakdawalla • August 28, 2011

Two weeks ago I posted an awesome video of Martian clouds in motion. Last week I explained how I accessed the Mars Express images that comprise the animation. Today I'm going to explain how I turned the five-frame animation of Mars Express images into a smooth movie.

The Making of Martian Clouds in Motion: Part 1, working with Mars Express HRSC data

Emily Lakdawalla • August 22, 2011

Last Friday I posted an awesome video of Martian clouds in motion. This week I'll tell you how I made it. The how-to is split up into two parts. The first, today, is how to access Mars Express HRSC image data and process it into the individual animation frames, from which you can make an animated GIF.

Martian clouds in motion

Emily Lakdawalla • August 19, 2011

Behold an amazing (if I do say so myself) video of Martian clouds in motion.

Watch Saturn's storms spin with VIMS

Emily Lakdawalla • April 28, 2011

A lot of attention has been paid recently to a storm in Saturn's northern hemisphere that is large and bright enough to be visible from Earth, but Saturn's atmosphere actually features lots more swirling storms. They can be hard to see, at least in visible wavelengths.

Pluto's atmosphere changes really fast!

Emily Lakdawalla • April 21, 2011

Pluto's atmosphere has been a subject of fascination for planetary astronomers since -- well, since astronomers first discovered that it had an atmosphere in the early '90s. The interest is partly because it's fascinating that such a distant and cold world is capable of supporting an atmosphere, and partly because the presence of the atmosphere confounds all attempts to measure Pluto's size precisely.

Some recent pictures of Saturn's northern storm

Emily Lakdawalla • February 07, 2011

There is a huge storm that's spreading across so much of Saturn that it's been readily visible even from Earth-based telescopes. Over the past couple of days a couple of new images of Saturn have appeared that show just how enormous the storm is today.

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