By now I hope that everyone has seen some of the spectacular images of the Saturn system (and especially Titan!) from the Cassini-Huygens mission. However, the measurements that often make my heart race are taken by instruments that reveal Titan in ways that our eyes cannot see.
United States Geological Survey scientist Ken Herkenhoff posts regular updates on the Curiosity science team's plans for the rover on Mars.
Caution: Spacecraft Under Construction
Visiting JPL's high bay clean room with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden
Join Emily Lakdawalla and Mat Kaplan inside JPL's High Bay 1, where two Earth-revealing missions are being readied for launch.
Yesterday, the Curiosity mission released the video whose potential I got so excited about a couple of weeks ago: the view, from Curiosity, of Phobos transiting Deimos in the Martian sky. In this post, Mark Lemmon answers a bunch of my questions about why they photograph Phobos and Deimos from rovers.
Does Pluto have an ocean under its ice? If it doesn't now, did it ever have one? How will we know?
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.