Join Donate

Blog Archive

 

First look at New Horizons' Pluto and Charon images: "baffling in a very interesting and wonderful way"

Emily Lakdawalla • July 15, 2015

Today's press briefing at the Applied Physics Laboratory in California was preceded by hours of New Horizons team members cryptically dropping hints on Twitter at astonishing details in the seven images downlinked since the flyby. The images are, in fact, astonishing, as well as beautiful, surprising, and puzzling.

Pluto minus one day: Very first New Horizons Pluto encounter science results

Emily Lakdawalla • July 13, 2015

At a press briefing this morning, New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern divulged some extremely preliminary first science results from the New Horizons Pluto encounter. Science results include Pluto's diameter and information on its surface composition and atmospheric escape.

Five steps to prevent asteroid impacts

Bruce Betts • June 30, 2015

For Asteroid Day, Bruce Betts reviews 5 steps needed to prevent asteroid impacts, as well as how The Planetary Society is involved in those.

Transient hot spots on Venus: Best evidence yet for active volcanism

Emily Lakdawalla • June 18, 2015

In a paper released in Geophysical Research Letters today, Eugene Shalygin and coauthors have announced the best evidence yet for current, active volcanism on Venus. The evidence comes from the Venus Monitoring Camera, which saw transient hot spots in four locations along a system of rifts near Venus' equator. They saw the hot spots in two distinct episodes in 2008 and 2009.

OSIRIS-REx – Seeking Answers to the Sweet Mystery of Life

Jason Dworkin • May 07, 2015

The nature of the origin of life is a topic that has engaged people since ancient times. The samples to be collected by OSIRIS-REx, returned to the Earth in 2023 and archived for decades beyond that, may indeed hide the secrets to the origin of life.

The Cosmic Microwave Oven Background

David Wilson • April 17, 2015

Over the past couple of decades the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia has been picking up two types of mysterious signals, each lasting just a few milliseconds. The source of one of these signals may have finally been found—and an unexpected source at that.

Planetary Defense Conference: Steps to Prevent Asteroid Impact

Bruce Betts • April 13, 2015

From Italy, Bruce Betts gives background and information at the start of the Planetary Defense Conference, which addresses the asteroid threat. Bruce summarizes steps to prevent asteroid impact.

A moon with atmosphere

Emily Lakdawalla • April 08, 2015

What is the solar system moon with the densest atmosphere? Most space fans know that the answer is Titan. A few of you might know that Triton's is the next densest. But what's the third? Fourth? Do any other moons even have atmospheres? In fact, they do; and one such atmosphere has just been discovered.

Revitalized 0.81m telescope studying properties of NEOs

Bruce Betts • March 31, 2015

Thanks to a new focal reducer and re-aluminized mirror from a Shoemaker NEO grant, a 0.81-meter telescope in Italy is performing astrometric follow-up observations and physical studies of asteroids.

Ceres Gets Real; Pluto Lurks

Paul Schenk • March 27, 2015

Although we are still along way from understanding this fascinating little body, Ceres is finally becoming a real planet with recognizable features! And that's kinda cool.

LPSC 2015: MESSENGER's low-altitude campaign at Mercury

Emily Lakdawalla • March 25, 2015

At last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, the MESSENGER team held a press briefing to share results from the recent few months of incredibly low-altitude flight over Mercury's surface. The mission will last only about five weeks more.

LPSC 2015: First results from Dawn at Ceres: provisional place names and possible plumes

Emily Lakdawalla • March 19, 2015

Three talks on Tuesday at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference concerned the first results from Dawn at Ceres. Chris Russell showed a map of "quads" with provisional names on Ceres, Andreas Nathues showed that Ceres' bright spot might be an area of plume-like activity, and Francesca Zambon showed color and temperature variations across the dwarf planet.

How Do We Know When We Have Collected a Sample of Bennu?

Kevin Walsh • March 17, 2015

A huge amount of effort goes into deciding where to try to collect a sample on Bennu. There are roughly nine months to survey, map and model the asteroid to help make this decision.

An internal ocean on Ganymede: Hooray for consistency with previous results!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 12, 2015

A newly published paper confirms a subsurface ocean at Ganymede. An ocean there was already suspected from its magnetic field and predicted by geophysics; new Hubble data confirms it, and even says it is in the same place we thought it was before. Such consistency is rare enough in planetary science to be worth celebration.

Planet Formation and the Origin of Life

Dante Lauretta • February 09, 2015

To understand the possible distribution of life in the Universe it is important to study planet formation and evolution. These processes are recorded in the chemistry and mineralogy of asteroids and comets, and in the geology of ancient planetary surfaces in our Solar System.

A second ringed centaur? Centaurs with rings could be common

Emily Lakdawalla • January 27, 2015

Chiron, which is both a centaur and a comet, may also have rings.

At last! A slew of OSIRIS images shows fascinating landscapes on Rosetta's comet

Emily Lakdawalla • January 26, 2015

The first results of the Rosetta mission are out in Science magazine. The publication of these papers means that the OSIRIS camera team has finally released a large quantity of closeup images of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taken in August and September of last year. I explain most of them, with help from my notes from December's American Geophysical Union meeting.

Fountains of Water Vapor and Ice

Deepak Dhingra • January 22, 2015

Deepak Dhingra shares some of the latest research on Enceladus' geysers presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco last month.

Curiosity results from AGU: Methane is there, and it's variable

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2014

At the American Geophysical Union meeting, the Curiosity mission announced that an instrument had finally definitively detected methane in Mars' atmosphere. It exists at a low background level, but there was a spike to about ten times that, which lasted for a couple of months before disappearing. What that means is unclear.

Random Space Fact Videos

Bruce Betts • December 19, 2014

Enjoy Random Space Fact Videos this holiday season. Each is designed in to give you at least one space fact and one laugh in about one minute. Here are the videos and the background on the concept.

Items 41 - 60 of 363  Previous12345678910Next
astronaut on Phobos
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Mars
Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process. Funding is crucial.

Donate

You are here: