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Blog Archive

 

Fossils or good-looking rocks? Why searching for life on other worlds is hard

Elias Nakouzi • April 13, 2017

If you find a structure that looks like ancient life, can you be really sure that it is ancient life?

Unraveling a Martian enigma: The hidden rivers of Arabia Terra

Joel Davis • March 21, 2017

Arabia Terra has always been a bit of a martian enigma. Planetary scientist Joel Davis takes us on a tour of its valley networks and their significance in telling the story of water on Mars.

Radar in Earth and Planetary Science: An Intro

Heather Hunter • February 24, 2017

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

Microbes exist deep inside Earth’s craters. Could this be the secret to finding life on other worlds?

Bryan J. Rodriguez-Colon • February 06, 2017

Earth possesses amazing biological diversity. Every corner of this planet—no matter how bizarre the place—is inhabited by microorganisms. This includes impact craters.

GOES-R: What’s Next?

Heather Hunter • December 23, 2016

After a series of maneuvers in-orbit, GOES-R—now known as GOES-16—has reached its designated location in space. What happens next?

GOES-R: A GOES Primer

Heather Hunter • November 14, 2016

The current GOES-East and GOES-West have been faithfully providing continuous imagery and data on Earth and space weather for almost a decade. So, with the launch of the first of the next generation of GOES satellites, GOES-R, what is NOAA trying to accomplish?

A week in the solar system

Jason Davis • November 10, 2016

A roundup of pretty pictures and news from our robotic ambassadors around the solar system, from November 4 through 8.

New Gems from the Moon

Bill Dunford • October 10, 2016

More than seven years after the end of its mission, JAXA has released the entire data set from Kaguya's HDTV cameras.

Gullies on Mars: Wet or Dry (Ice)?

Tanya Harrison • August 17, 2016

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?

Whither the Weather? A Jet Stream Explainer

Anna Scott • June 07, 2016

Jet streams are found in planetary atmospheres throughout our solar system. But what exactly are they?

Space Exploration: Leaving the Earth to Understand It

Jake Rosenthal • May 13, 2016

Looking back at Earth from beyond helps to give perspective on our place in the cosmos.

State of NASA Earth Observation

Anna Scott • May 12, 2016

Anna Scott gets us up to speed on NASA's Earth-observing missions nearly 60 years into the satellite age.

The what-o-sphere? An explainer

Anna Scott • May 05, 2016

Why do we need to slice up atmospheres into classifications like the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere?

Atmospheric Waves Awareness: An Explainer

Anna Scott • April 20, 2016

There are two types of atmospheric waves that are critically important on Earth and other planets: gravity waves and planetary waves.

Synthesizing DSCOVR-like Images Using Atmospheric and Geophysical Data

Steve Albers • April 20, 2016

Why does our planet look the way it does from space? How does light interacting with land, clouds, water, snow, ice, gases, and various aerosols all come together? One way to learn the answer is to try and synthesize DSCOVR's view from various "building blocks" of geophysical and atmospheric data.

UPDATED: ESA activates a new old space camera

Emily Lakdawalla • February 19, 2016

Inspired by the Mars Webcam on Mars Express, ESA's Cluster mission has turned on a camera on the Cluster spacecraft for the first time since their launch more than 15 years ago. UPDATE: It has now acquired images of Earth.

Two epic photos of Earth -- but which one is truer?

Emily Lakdawalla • December 29, 2015

Two images of Earth taken from different spacecraft at the same time illustrate differences in "true" color imaging among spacecraft.

December solstice: Viewing Earth's seasonal shifts from space

Emily Lakdawalla • December 22, 2015

It's fun to watch the seasons shift from space, and as of this year we have new ways to do that.

Hayabusa2 views Earth and the Moon on approach to December 3 flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • December 01, 2015

I just love photos of Earth from planetary missions -- especially if they manage to get Earth and Moon in the same shot, as Hayabusa2 did on November 26.

Two JAXA mission updates: Akatsuki Venus orbit entry and PROCYON Earth flyby coming up!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 19, 2015

Akatsuki is finally approaching its second attempt to enter Venus orbit, on December 7; let's all wish JAXA the best of luck! And PROCYON, whose ion engines have failed, is still an otherwise perfectly functional spacecraft that is taking photos of Earth and the Moon as it approaches for a flyby.

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