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Blogs

Blog Archive

 

Venus: Not so neat and tidy as we thought

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/23 12:12 CDT

Pioneer Venus discovered a stable "dipole" near Venus' north pole, and Venus Express found the same thing near Venus' south pole. Except now Venus Express has found it's not as stable as once thought.

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Decoding a Titan crater

Posted by Emily Martin on 2010/08/16 01:42 CDT

In response to Emily's entry about finally getting her hands on a subscription to the planetary science journal Icarus, I thought I would report on an article from the most recent issue: Geology of the Selk crater region on Titan from Cassini VIMS observations, by Jason Soderblom and 11 other scientists.

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Critical partnerships for the future of human space exploration

Posted by Andre Bormanis on 2010/07/21 07:05 CDT

Exploring the current debate in the context of these three partnerships might help illuminate how future human expeditions beyond LEO will be carried out.tical partnerships for the future of human space exploration

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Jupiter's faded belt: It's happened before, and it'll happen again

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/16 05:07 CDT

When I wrote a post about Jupiter's missing South Equatorial Belt in May, I had three main questions: how long did it take for the belt to go away, has this happened before, and how can a planet as big as Jupiter change its appearance so quickly?

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Hayabusa's return: a review

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/13 04:47 CDT

Hayabusa's return: round up some of the amazing photos, movies, and artworks that were posted and shared and Tweeted and re-Tweeted over the previous dozen hours or so.

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The goal of Opportunity's trek

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/24 02:00 CDT

Opportunity's kilometers-long march across the sands of Meridiani Planum is a great story, and the journey is fun to follow; but what could be worth such a long march?

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Radar glories in Titan rivers

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/11 04:53 CDT

Wow, this is a cool paper. Here's the gist: the Cassini RADAR team has spotted some river channels on Titan that shine so brightly in radar images, there must be something special going on to explain that brightness.

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Morphology and mineralogy on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/05 11:16 CDT

A recent entry by Bethany Ehlmann from the blog of the Planetary Geomorphology Working Group of the International Association of Geomorphologists demonstrates how you can combine the power of different types of data to tease out a rich story of the past history of one spot on Mars.

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2010 AL30: Watch out for low-flying asteroids

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/12 11:52 CST

In less than 24 hours, a newly discovered asteroid known as 2010 AL30 will be zipping past Earth at an altitude of approximately a third the Earth-Moon distance. There's no chance it'll hit us, but it's generating a lot of excitement in the community of amateur and professional near-Earth asteroid observers.

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Bruce Betts: Kepler discovers its first five exoplanets

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2010/01/04 12:06 CST

Congratulations to NASA's Kepler mission team on their announcement of the discovery of its first five exoplanets (planets around other stars). All five are "hot Jupiters," meaning that they are the sizes of the gas giants in our solar system, but are extremely close to their parent stars.

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Hayabusa on the home stretch

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/17 07:49 CST

Hayabusa is still 100 million kilometers from the Earth, less than an astronomical unit away but still with months to travel. But according to an update posted to their websitethis morning by project manager Junichiro Kawaguchi, Hayabusa is on the home stretch.

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Reports from the 2009 arctic Mars analogue Svalbard expedition

Posted by Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco on 2009/10/06 12:10 CDT

The expedition's goals were to integrate and test two new instruments for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover and four for ESA's ExoMars rover.

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Dunes in the Outback Red Center

Posted by Jani Radebaugh on 2009/07/29 12:12 CDT

Jani talks about the importance of understanding analogs we can easily visit on Earth to processes happening across the solar system.

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Cassini RADAR continues to gaze at Titan

Posted by Jani Radebaugh on 2009/07/27 07:08 CDT

The Cassini spacecraft made its 59th flyby of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, on Friday, July 24, and in the last few hours we have received images from the RADAR instrument in SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) mode.

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Designing the Cassini Tour

Posted by John Smith on 2009/06/07 12:01 CDT

Each Titan flyby is not a fork in the road, but rather a Los Angeles style cloverleaf in terms of the dizzying number of possible destinations. So how did our current and future plans for the path of the Cassini spacecraft come to be? That's the question Dave Seal put to me since that's my job -- I am a tour designer.

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Canto II: Titan's Atmosphere and the Solar Cycle

Posted by David Seal on 2009/06/03 04:44 CDT

David Seal explains the complications for Cassini coming from Titan's atmosphere and Solar Cycle.

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Connections

Posted by David Seal on 2009/06/02 01:58 CDT

David Seal muses on his time as the mission planner for Cassini, and the history behind its name, and astronomy in Rome.

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Water and the Curiosity Landing Site Candidates

Posted by Ken Edgett on 2009/05/28 10:09 CDT | 2 comments

Water and the Curiosity Landing Site Candidates

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Mars: "Follow the Water" Is Not Dead

Posted by Ken Edgett on 2009/05/26 11:53 CDT

Mars: "Follow the Water" Is Not Dead

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Ever Plan Ahead? How About Six Years Ahead?

Posted by Alan Stern on 2009/05/19 07:05 CDT

Despite still being more than six years and just over 18 Astronomical Units from the Pluto system, the project team for New Horizons is conducting the second and final portion of our Pluto Encounter Preliminary Design Review (EPDR) tomorrow and the next day.

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