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Video: Comet ISON: Super Bright or Super Lame?

Bruce Betts • November 12, 2013

Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) was touted months ago by media as the possible comet of the century. Will it be that, or a cosmic dud? Find out the basics about the in this short video.

Why does ISON look green?

Matthew Knight • October 29, 2013

You may have noticed that Comet ISON appears to have a green halo in some recent images, but in other images acquired at about the same time, it doesn’t. Thanks to the beautiful new spectrum posted earlier today by Christian Buil, it’s relatively easy to understand why.

Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian, oh my! --Mars' Geologic Time Scale

Emily Lakdawalla • October 25, 2013

The Martian Geologic Time Scale is a lot more complicated than the Moon's.

Uranus Awaits

Geraint Jones • October 18, 2013

It’s been a long time since anyone paid Uranus a visit. The Uranus system is, however, fascinating, as evidenced by the wealth of topics covered by the diverse group of planetary scientists who gathered to discuss it last week at the Paris Observatory.

DPS 2013: The fascination of tiny worlds

Emily Lakdawalla • October 17, 2013

In which I summarize Joe Veverka's Kuiper Prize talk at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting: "Small is NOT Dull: Unravelling the Complexity of Surface Processes on Asteroids, Comets and Small Satellites."

DPS 2013: Confusing Curiosity SAM results

Emily Lakdawalla • October 15, 2013

What did I learn about Curiosity at last week's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting? There were a few talks, most of which concerned soil and atmsospheric chemistry. I can summarize their conclusions with one sentence: More data is needed.

America's Pastime: Planetary Science

Mat Kaplan • October 15, 2013

Apologies to baseball fans and others for the theme of this week's Planetary Radio preview, which has star player Emily Lakdawalla on deck.

DPS 2013: Tidbits from Titan

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2013

I attended a few talks at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting today that concerned Titan's origin and interesting surface, and then one in the afternoon about the atmosphere.

The "Starship Century" Beckons

Mat Kaplan • October 01, 2013

The Benford brothers provide inspiration and hard fact in their excellent new anthology about interstellar travel.

Relative and absolute ages in the histories of Earth and the Moon: The Geologic Time Scale

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2013

A few days ago, I wrote a post about the basins of the Moon -- a result of a trip down a rabbit hole of book research. Here's the next step in that journey: the Geologic Time Scales of Earth and the Moon.

Gravity assist

David Shortt • September 27, 2013

With the recent announcement by NASA that the 36 year-old spacecraft Voyager 1 has officially entered interstellar space at a distance from the sun about four times further than Neptune's orbit, and with Voyager 2 not far behind, it seems worthwhile to explore how humans managed to fling objects so far into space.

Dating the Moon's basins

Emily Lakdawalla • September 26, 2013

A paper in press in the Journal of Geophysical Research uses new data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to update our story for the history of the Moon's massive impacts.

Two new ways to browse Vesta: 1. Vesta Low-Altitude Mapping Orbit (LAMO) Atlas

Emily Lakdawalla • September 16, 2013

Last week was the European Planetary Science Congress in London, and there's been a lot of science news. One thing that caught my eye Friday was the publication of a new atlas for Vesta.

Has Voyager 1 left the Solar System?

Bruce Betts • September 12, 2013

Has Voyager 1 left the Solar System? NASA announced it has entered interstellar space. What does that mean? Check out this short video discussing the answers.

Mars' valley networks tell us of a dry, then wet, then dry Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • September 10, 2013

Was there rainfall on Mars? Recent work mapping valley networks suggests there probably was -- but only for about 200 million years. What does this mean for life, and the Curiosity mission?

Go LADEE!

Mat Kaplan • September 10, 2013

Listen to or watch the recording of our live celebration for LADEE as the spacecraft blasted off for the moon.

Watch LADEE Launch to the Moon with The Planetary Society

Mat Kaplan • September 06, 2013

Starting at 7:30pm PDT/10:30pm EDT, we will webcast a special event around the launch of NASA's next lunar spacecraft. Watch our special coverage with lunar scientists and live video from the launch site, as well as NASA TV footage of the launch itself.

Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2013

Just four months ago I posted about a paper recently published by Leslie Young and coauthors that described three possible scenarios for Pluto's atmosphere. Yesterday, Cathy Olkin, Leslie Young, and coauthors posted a preprint on arXiv that says that only one of those scenarios can be true. And it's a surprising one. The title of their paper says it all: "Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse."

Mars, Old and New: A Personal View by Bruce Murray

Jennifer Vaughn • September 03, 2013

An interview with Bruce Murray from 2001 about his perspectives on Mars science and exploration: past, present, and future.

Results of ten Venus years of cloud tracking by Venus Express

Emily Lakdawalla • August 29, 2013

What Venus Express' Visual Monitoring Camera images of Venus have taught us about the motions of Venus' atmosphere.

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