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Blog Archive

 

Curiosity Rover Science Plan Slammed by NASA Review Panel

Casey Dreier • September 03, 2014

Senior review recommends continuing all major planetary exploration missions, but not without some changes.

On the masses and motions of mini-moons: Pandora's not a "shepherd," but Prometheus still is

Emily Lakdawalla • July 04, 2014

As Cassini celebrates 10 years at Saturn, we're beginning to see its long-term observations of Saturnian moons bear fruit. A surprising new result: While Prometheus exerts control over the F ring and Atlas, Pandora -- long thought to be a shepherd of the F ring -- does not.

A close look at Saturn's closest moons

Emily Lakdawalla • June 26, 2014

A new composite image of the eight named moons that orbit closest to Saturn, and a list of all the best Cassini observations of these moons.

Of Rings and Resolution

Bill Dunford • June 23, 2014

Seeing Saturn before and after Cassini.

Another Day in the Solar System

Bill Dunford • May 12, 2014

One day, five worlds.

Another Pale Blue Dot — Uranus Spied By Cassini

Val Klavans and Ian Regan • April 30, 2014

The Cassini mission has already returned an array of images of other solar system members from Saturn orbit: Earth (and the Moon), Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. It’s time to add another world to that list!

Intro Astronomy Class 9: Titan, Uranus and Neptune Systems

Bruce Betts • April 11, 2014

Examine Saturn's moon Titan and explore the Uranian and Neptunian systems in this video of class 9 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 8: Icy Galilean Satellites, Saturn System

Bruce Betts • April 11, 2014

Explore the icy moons of the Jupiter System and tour the Saturnian system in this video of class 8 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Help name the last phase of the Cassini mission!

Emily Lakdawalla • April 10, 2014

The scientists on the Cassini team are incredibly excited about the final, "proximal orbit" phase of the mission. But they want a punchier name for it, and they're asking the public for help.

LPSC 2014: Titan's Land of Lakes

Emily Lakdawalla • March 31, 2014

Report from a varied session on Titan's lakes at this year's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Snapshots of Science from the 2014 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Emily Lakdawalla • March 25, 2014

Vignettes from dozens of LPSC talks: GRAIL and LADEE at the Moon; ice and craters and conglomerates and organics and gullies on Mars; polar deposits and volatile elements on Mercury; tectonics on Enceladus; and more, until my brain was so full I could barely speak.

Dancing With Saturn

Bill Dunford • March 24, 2014

Cassini images in motion.

Intro Astronomy Class 7: Near Earth Asteroids and the Jupiter System

Bruce Betts • March 21, 2014

Examine the threat of near Earth asteroids and begin exploring the Jupiter System in this video of class 7 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Titan's lakes: The basics

Emily Lakdawalla • March 15, 2014

Since Seth MacFarlane tweeted that this weekend's episode of Cosmos was going to include a segment on lakes on Titan, I thought I'd write a post explaining the basics of Titan lakes.

A little fun with Cassini rings images

Emily Lakdawalla • February 25, 2014

It's happened again; I went into the Cassini image archive looking for something specific and wound up spending several hours playing with totally unrelated image data. Here are several beautiful images of the rings from the archives.

The Two Faces of Phoebe

Daniel Macháček • February 13, 2014

Cassini flew past Phoebe on June 11, 2004, on its way to entering Saturn orbit. The flyby was almost perfect but overexposure of some images have prevented color mosaics from being produced. Even though Phoebe's body is gray and dull in color, the absence of color images always provoked me. By using VIMS data, I have now produced color mosaics.

Through a Glass, Darkly

Bill Dunford • January 13, 2014

When sent from deep space, even imperfect images can inform and amaze.

Polar vortices across the solar system

Emily Lakdawalla • January 09, 2014

Earth's polar vortex has been in the American news all week. But we're not the only planet that has one; basically every world that has an atmosphere has a polar vortex. Here are lots of pretty pictures and animations of polar vortices.

What's up in planetary missions in 2014

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2013

With the New Year upon us, what can we look forward to in 2014? For me, the main event of 2014 is that ESA's Rosetta mission finally -- finally! -- catches up to the comet it has been chasing for a decade. We will lose LADEE, gain two Mars orbiters, and launch Hayabusa2. The year begins with an amazing 24 spacecraft exploring or cruising toward various planetary destinations.

Enceladus huffs and puffs: plumes vary with orbital longitude

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2013

In which I finally get around to writing about a paper published last August: Enceladus' plumes sometimes spout more and sometimes spout less, depending on where Enceladus is in its orbit. This discovery was enabled by Cassini's longevity at Saturn, and we'll be able to follow up on it, as long as Cassini is allowed to complete its mission.

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