They're too far apart to have a party, but today Curiosity and Opportunity could have rung in the New Mars Year. Today Mars reached a solar longitude of zero degrees and the Sun crossed Mars' equator, heralding the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere.
Last Thursday at the Pluto Science Conference there was a surprising and interesting talk by Amanda Zangari, who pointed out a serious problem with Pluto cartography.
My roundup from notes on the day's presentations on dust in the Pluto system and the surfaces and interiors of Pluto and Charon.
The International Association of Geomorphologists' "planetary geomorphology image of the month," contributed by Joe Levy, features water tracks on Earth and compares them to recurring slope lineae on Mars.
It had never occurred to me to think about geostationary satellites in Mars orbit before reading a new paper by Juan Silva and Pilar Romero. The paper shows that it takes a lot more work to maintain a stationary orbit at an arbitrary longitude at Mars than it does at Earth.
Arecibo Observatory is known for its 1000-foot diameter telescope and its appearances in Goldeneye and Contact. Aside from battling Bond villains and driving red diesel Jeeps around the telescope (grousing at the site director about the funding status of projects is optional), several hundred hours a year of telescope time at Arecibo go toward radar studies of asteroids.
A look at an older paper describing Galileo's possible sighting of individual ring particles orbiting Jupiter as companions to its inner moon Amalthea.
Planetary Society Hangout: A Day in the Life of the Opportunity Rover with Emily Dean
Thursday, May 9, at noon PDT/1900h UTC
Thursday, May 9th, at noon PDT/3pm EDT/1900h UTC, we are joined by Emily Dean, who works on the camera team for the Opportunity rover on Mars.
Note the special time! In this week's Planetary Society hangout at 5pm PDT / midnight UTC, I'll talk with MESSENGER deputy principal investigator Larry Nittler about what MESSENGER has accomplished in its prime and extended missions at Mercury, and what it stands to do if awarded a mission extension.
New Horizons might see a Pluto with a northern polar cap, a southern polar cap, or both caps, according to work by Leslie Young.
This month my latest paper made it to print in the Astronomical Journal. It's a short piece that describes a serendipitous discovery that my collaborators and I made while searching for a distant Kuiper Belt Object for the New Horizons spacecraft to visit after its 2015 Pluto flyby.
An Amazing Evening for Planetary Defense
Join us via Planetary Radio and complete video coverage.
Bill Nye, Bruce Betts, Mat Kaplan, Meteorite Man Geoffrey Notkin and stars of planetary science at the Planetary Defense Conference public event in Flagstaff.
A recently published paper proposes that much of the sedimentary rock on Mars formed during rare, brief periods of very slight wetness under melting snow.
Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: Programming in the Sciences
Thursday, Apr 4th at noon PDT/1900 UTC
Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/04/03 02:30 CDT
Thursday, Apr 4th at noon PDT/1900 UTC we continue our weekly Live Hangouts. Join us this week with Chase Million, founder of Million Concepts, a company devoted to providing high-quality code to scientists.
The case for water ice hidden in permanently shadowed regions at the north pole of the planet Mercury received another boost recently. On Wednesday March 20, 2013 at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Nancy Chabot presented the very first visible-light images of what is in the shadows of these polar craters.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/27 11:52 CDT
Reports from the March 19 session at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference covering eight icy moons in the outer solar system: Ganymede, Europa, Dione, Rhea, Mimas, Tethys, Enceladus, and Miranda.
Really cool movies from Jim Richardson propose to explain how the same physics of impact cratering can produce such differently-appearing surfaces as those of the Moon, large asteroids like Eros, and teeny ones like Itokawa.