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Intro Astronomy Class 6: Mars (continued) and Asteroids

Bruce Betts • March 14, 2014

Continue exploring Mars and learn about asteroids in this video of class 6 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Intro Astronomy Class 5: Venus (continued) and Mars

Bruce Betts • March 06, 2014

Continue exploring Venus and begin looking at Mars in this video of class 5 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Pretty pictures of terraced craters on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • February 27, 2014

Check out this unusual crater on Mars. It's not a very big one, less than 500 meters in diameter, and yet it has two rings. Most craters on Mars this size are simple bowl shapes. What's going on here?

New Hills, Old Secrets

Bill Dunford • February 10, 2014

Exploring a set of newly named hills on Mars reveals tantalizing clues to the planet's story.

Dry Ice Snowfall at the Poles of Mars

Paul Hayne • January 16, 2014

Paul Hayne takes a look at the mysterious polar caps of Mars, and what it would be like to ski there.

Book Review: This Is Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • January 14, 2014

This is Mars is a stunning book that treats the HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as an art photographer, exploring the variety of shapes and patterns created by wind, water, impacts, and gravity on the Martian surface.

Polar vortices across the solar system

Emily Lakdawalla • January 09, 2014

Earth's polar vortex has been in the American news all week. But we're not the only planet that has one; basically every world that has an atmosphere has a polar vortex. Here are lots of pretty pictures and animations of polar vortices.

What's up in planetary missions in 2014

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2013

With the New Year upon us, what can we look forward to in 2014? For me, the main event of 2014 is that ESA's Rosetta mission finally -- finally! -- catches up to the comet it has been chasing for a decade. We will lose LADEE, gain two Mars orbiters, and launch Hayabusa2. The year begins with an amazing 24 spacecraft exploring or cruising toward various planetary destinations.

The Mists of Mars

Bill Dunford • December 09, 2013

Two grand canyons fill with fog, one on Earth and one on Mars.

Mars' chemical history: Phyllosian, Theiikian, Siderikian, oh my

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2013

I'm returning to the deep dive into the literature that began with articles about lunar basins and then explored the geologic time scales of Earth, Moon, and Mars. Now it's time to catch up to the last decade of Mars research and learn what "phyllosian", "theiikian", and "siderikian" eras are.

Martian Maps: the North Pole

Bill Dunford • November 20, 2013

The polar plains, charted in unprecedented detail.

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.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter achieves imaging of comet ISON from Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • October 02, 2013

Yesterday, the much-anticipated comet ISON made its closest pass by Mars. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's HiRISE camera is the first to achieve a positive detection of the somewhat-fainter-than-expected comet in its photos.

Interplanetary eyes on the lookout for comet ISON

Daniel Fischer • August 09, 2013

Space blogger Daniel Fischer provides a preview of the exciting interplanetary observing campaign that has recently begun to study comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) from vantage points across the solar system.

Mysterious tides in the Martian atmosphere

Armin Kleinboehl • August 07, 2013

Observations made by the Mars Climate Sounder, an instrument aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, have revealed new information about atmospheric tides on the Red Planet.

Terra Cognita

Bill Dunford • July 29, 2013

Pushing back the frontier, and filling in the blank spaces on the map.

Planetary Geomorphology Image of the Month: Water tracks on Earth and Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • July 18, 2013

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.

A new HiRISE view of Opportunity (sol 3361)

Emily Lakdawalla • July 17, 2013

The HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has snapped a lovely color photo of the rim of Endeavour crater, catching Opportunity midway between Nobby's Head and Solander Point.

Dunes on Tatooine

Ralph Lorenz • July 17, 2013

The fictional world Tatooine, scene of action in the Star Wars movies, is named after a town in Tunisia, where parts of the movies were filmed. The desert backdrops against which the movies were filmed are real terrestrial landscapes, which prove to be perhaps unexpectedly dynamic.

The Ice Pits of Mars

Bill Dunford • July 07, 2013

The south polar cap of Mars is riddled with strange landscapes.

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