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Twenty years since Voyager's last view

Posted by Emily LakdawallaCharlene Anderson on 2010/02/12 01:17 CST

On Sunday comes the twentieth anniversary of an iconic image from the Voyager mission: the "Pale Blue Dot" photo of Earth caught in a sunbeam, which was captured by Voyager 1 as part of a Solar System Family Portrait.

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Climb Aboard Apollo 11 Time Machine

Posted by Susan Lendroth on 2009/07/16 01:01 CDT

Grab your bell bottoms and Tang, and travel back to 1969 when Apollo 11's journey to the Moon captivated the world, and Neil Armstrong's and Buzz Aldrin's boot prints in the lunar dust transformed us into a multi-world species.

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Deep Inside Europa

Posted by 5thstar on 2009/06/23 07:48 CDT

In 1995, 572 astronaut applicants were narrowed down to 125 based on their resumes and English scores, then down to 48 based on paper exams and brief medical checks. These 48 candidates went through a week of comprehensive medical checks and job interviews.

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Apollo Plus 40

Posted by Timothy Reed on 2009/06/18 12:05 CDT

The editors of the site, Nature, have begun their ApolloPlus40 blog.

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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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Celebrate Apollo 11's 40th Anniversary with the Crew

Posted by Susan Lendroth on 2009/05/22 01:08 CDT

This summer, the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. will commemorate that extraordinary moment in history with a very special Apollo 11 celebration, featuring the mission's original crew members along with former Johnson Space Center Director Chris Kraft.

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An Auspicious Week for Astronomy

Posted by Mark Adler on 2009/05/11 11:54 CDT | 1 comments

On Monday, if all goes well, we will launch the Space Shuttle to rejuvenate one the greatest scientific missions launched on or off the Earth: the Hubble Space Telescope.

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White Rock through the Ages: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2006-present)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/05/08 05:48 CDT

I apologize for the long hiatus in this White Rock series, but I hope this entry will be worth the wait.

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White Rock through the ages: Mars Global Surveyor (1997-2006)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/02/22 11:24 CST

We first spotted the strange bright feature colloquially known as "White Rock" in Mariner 9 images from 1972, and revisited it, without learning much more, in Viking images from the late 1970s.

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White Rock through the ages: Viking (1976-1980)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/02/13 01:10 CST

This is the second installment in my look at one enigmatic feature on Mars as seen by all its orbiters through the more than thirty years of spacecraft observations.

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White Rock through the ages: Mariner 9, 1972

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/02/08 02:31 CST

While conversing with Ken Edgett about the smiley face on Mars he remarked to me how different Mars looks at different pixel scales, and in particular that there is a transition somewhere in the neighborhood of six to seven meters per pixel.

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Pluto: The Discovery of a Planet

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2005/02/18 11:00 CST

To mark the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the planet Pluto, The Planetary Society presents to its readers the remarkable story of the discovery.

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The Discovery of a Planet, Part 6: From Pluto to Sedna

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2005/02/17 11:00 CST

74 years after Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto as a faint dot on a pair of photographic plates, a modern group of astronomers made another remarkable discovery. On March 15, 2004, Michael Brown of Caltech, Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory, and David Rabinowitz of Yale announced the discovery of Sedna – the furthest object ever detected in the Solar System.

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The Discovery of a Planet, Part 5: The Aftermath

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2005/02/16 11:00 CST

The discovery of Planet X was announced to the world on March 13, 1930, which marked the anniversary of William Herschel’s discovery of Uranus in 1781 as well as Percival Lowell’s birthday. The observatory’s communiqué emphasized that the discovery was no coincidence, but the vindication of Lowell’s predictions made years before.

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The Discovery of a Planet, Part 4: Clyde's Search

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2005/02/15 11:00 CST

Since his teenage years Clyde Tombaugh had been an avid amateur astronomer and a gifted telescope builder. Based on instructions contained in an article from a boy’s Sunday school paper, he built a series of telescopes of increasing power and quality on the family farm.

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The Discovery of a Planet, Part 3: Planet X

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2005/02/14 11:00 CST

The discovery of Neptune accounted for nearly all the unexplained motions of the outer planets of the Solar System. Nevertheless, several astronomers insisted that some unexplained residual motions remained, pointing to the presence of a ninth planet beyond the orbit of Neptune.

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The Discovery of a Planet, Part 2: Out of the Six-Planet World

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2005/02/13 11:00 CST

Since humans first set their eyes to the stars, they noticed that a few of these bright objects behaved differently from the others. Whereas all the stars moved together, revolving around the Earth once every 24 hours, five appeared to move within the firmament among the other stars. Accordingly, they were named “planets,” meaning “wanderers” in Greek.

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The Discovery of a Planet, Part 1: The Blinking Image

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2005/02/12 11:00 CST

February 18, 1930, was a cloudy day at the Lowell Observatory, on top of Mars Hill in Flagstaff, Arizona. 22 year old Clyde Tombaugh was hard at work, peering through the lens of an ancient-looking brass-colored device. The instrument, known as a “blink comparator,” mounted two large photographic plates.

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The Stories Behind the Voyager Mission: Charles Kohlhase

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2002/09/05 12:00 CDT

Charles Kohlhase served as Mission Design Manager for Voyager from 1974 to 1989. He brought more than a decade's worth of experience working on the Mariner and Viking missions to the position.

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The Stories Behind the Voyager Mission: Ed Stone

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2002/09/05 12:00 CDT

Edward C. Stone, an internationally renowned physicist, signed on as Project Scientist of the Voyager mission in 1972, responsible for coordinating the efforts of 11 teams of researchers.

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