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Blog Archive


Mastcam-Z team blog: Landing sites

Katherine Winchell and Elsa Jensen • December 28, 2017

It takes years to decide where a Mars rover is going to land. Members of NASA's Mars 2020's camera team describe their participation in the process.

What's Up in Solar System Exploration in 2018

Emily Lakdawalla • December 27, 2017

Three launches to the Moon and one each to Mercury and Mars; two arrivals at near-Earth asteroids; and an approach to an encounter with a distant Kuiper belt object are highlights we anticipate in 2018.

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Snapshots of Chaos

Adam Block • December 26, 2017

Award-winning astrophotographer Adam Block brings us stunning images of beautifully chaotic scenes across the universe.

These are a few of our favorite things: Top 2017 planetary stories

Emily Lakdawalla • December 22, 2017

Looking back on 2017, we here at The Planetary Society are proud of what we have accomplished during this orbit of the Sun. Emily Lakdawalla, Jason Davis, Casey Dreier, and Mat Kaplan reflect on the year that was.

Visualize today's solstice with images from Earth-observing satellites

Jason Davis • December 21, 2017

What do the shortest days of the year look like from space?

Downselect: NASA narrows future mission destination to comet 67P or Titan

Jason Davis • December 20, 2017

The winner will be picked in 2019.

#AGU17: Spherical harmonics, gravity, and the depth of winds at Jupiter

Emily Lakdawalla • December 20, 2017

Results from the Juno gravity science experiment presented at last week's American Geophysical Union meeting suggest Jupiter's winds penetrate only to 3000 kilometers deep.

A closer look at China's audacious Mars sample return plans

Andrew Jones • December 19, 2017

China is making steady progress on a proposed mission to bring a piece of Mars back to Earth in the late 2020s.

#AGU17: JunoCam science

Emily Lakdawalla • December 18, 2017

JunoCam may be an outreach instrument, but its superb photos of storms on Jupiter are providing plenty of data for scientists to talk about.

Congress rejects graduate student tax

Casey Dreier • December 14, 2017

The Planetary Society was proud to join dozens of other scientific organizations in standing against this unnecessary and detrimental tax increase on the future scientific workforce of the United States.

Brief note from #AGU17: Juno observes volcanism on Io

Emily Lakdawalla • December 13, 2017

At the American Geophysical Union meeting, members of the Juno team showed observations of active volcanism on Jupiter's moon Io.

An exoplanet-hunting space telescope turns and takes a photo of Earth

James Davenport • December 08, 2017

On December 10, Kepler—NASA’s prized exoplanet discovery telescope—will finally turn back and take a picture of the Earth.

The case for Venus

Jason Davis • December 08, 2017

NASA is about to pick finalists for its next New Frontiers mission. Will Venus make the cut?

South Korea's first lunar mission planned for 2020

Emily Lakdawalla • December 07, 2017

South Korea's first mission to the Moon, the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter KPLO, is now planned for launch in December 2020.

Celebrating Our Volunteers

Kate Howells • December 05, 2017

December 5th is International Volunteer Day, and The Planetary Society has many reasons to celebrate...3,652, to be exact!

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Returns Fundamental Finding in Perseverance, Cruises Through Winter Solstice

A.J.S. Rayl • December 01, 2017

Opportunity continued the historic winter science campaign inside Perseverance Valley and delivered the goods that confirmed an important discovery in November, and then cruised through winter solstice, driving the mission closer to its 14th anniversary of surface operations coming up in January.

India's Chandrayaan-2 mission preparing for March 2018 launch

Emily Lakdawalla • November 29, 2017

India plans a return to the Moon with an orbiter, lander, and rover on the Chandrayaan-2 mission.

Clipper Slipper

Jason Davis • November 28, 2017

Will NASA's Space Launch System be ready to launch a Europa mission in 2022?

How far they'll go: Moana shows the power of Polynesian celestial navigation

Duane W. Hamacher and Carla Bento Guedes • November 21, 2017

The Polynesian peoples' astronomical knowledge helped them colonize the vast Pacific Ocean.

Emily's recommended space books for kids of all ages, 2017

Emily Lakdawalla • November 15, 2017

Welcome to my ninth annual recommendations and gift guide to books about space, planets, and astronauts for kids of all ages!

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