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Planetary Society Hangout Thursday noon PT / 2000 UT: GRAIL's Demise, Curiosity Arrives, and the 2020 Rover Surprise

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/12/13 12:15 CST | 3 comments

Join us for our weekly hangout and catch up on GRAIL, Curiosity, and the future Mars rover.

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Making an ugly rock beautiful

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/02 08:03 CDT | 1 comment

Today I stumbled upon the Lunar and Planetary Institute's Lunar Sample Atlas, and was reminded of how much I love petrographic thin sections. They can make unassuming, cruddy looking rocks beautiful.

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PlanetVac: Sucking Up Planetary Regolith
A New Planetary Society Project

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/10/30 02:27 CDT | 3 comments

Learn about the Planetary Society’s newest project: PlanetVac, with Honeybee Robotics, aims to prototype and test in a huge vacuum chamber a new way to sample planetary surfaces that could be used for sample return or for in situ instruments.

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Pretty Picture: Eagle's Landing

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/13 03:59 CDT

Amateur image processor Tom Dahl's spectacularly high-resolution version of Buzz Aldrin's panoramic view of the Apollo 11 landing site.

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A True Pioneer of the Science and Art of Flight

Posted by John M. Logsdon on 2012/08/27 03:29 CDT

Although Neil Armstrong may have passed away, his name will be part of human history forever.

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Cosmoquest Science Hangout Wednesday August 1: Mihály Horányi, lunar dust expert

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/07/30 12:31 CDT

I'll be guest hosting this week's Cosmoquest Science Hangout on Wednesday, August 1. The show starts at 2300 UTC, and my special guest is Mihály Horányi.

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Hold the Moon in Your Hands

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/06/12 04:49 CDT | 5 comments

Sky & Telescope and Replogle Globes teamed up to take advantage of the fabulous new Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image mosaic of the Moon to make an equally fabulous new Moon globe.

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Full Free Intro Astronomy Class Now Online

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/05/22 02:57 CDT | 1 comment

Bruce Betts' complete CSUDH Intro Astronomy and Planetary Science class is now available online. Find out how to access it, and go behind the scenes.

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3D view of an unnamed lunar crater

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/05/03 03:18 CDT

Grab your red-blue 3D glasses and dive in to this small but spectacular unnamed lunar crater as seen in a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photo.

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New views of Lunokhod 1 and Luna 17 from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/03/14 08:47 CDT

It is always thrilling to see relics of human exploration out there on other worlds. Today, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team posted some new photos of two defunct spacecraft: the Luna 17 lander and the Lunokhod 1 rover. I've posted images of the two craft before, but the ones released today are much better.

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Comparing Chang'e 2 and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter maps of the Moon

Posted by Phil Stooke on 2012/02/13 10:23 CST | 2 comments

How does the LRO lunar map compare with the new Chinese product from Chang'e 2?

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Scale solar system presentation slide, a provisional version for you to review

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/15 02:18 CDT

I'm preparing a talk for the Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show here in Pasadena on Sunday afternoon at 1:45. I have spent the morning putting together a slide that I have long wanted to have for presentations.

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New Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photos show Apollo sites in sharpest detail yet

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/09/08 11:58 CDT

On September 6, NASA released new high-resolution photos from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) showing the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites from vantage points as close as 21 kilometers.

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Pretty picture: Earth and Moon from JunoCam

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/30 11:53 CDT

It's always awe-inspiring to see our great world as just a tiny spot within vast space. The latest spacecraft to get such a view of Earth and the Moon is the Jupiter-bound Juno.

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Citizen Science projects for Planetary Science: Get Involved! Do Science!

Posted by Mike Malaska on 2011/05/12 05:13 CDT

Citizen Science projects let volunteers easily contribute to active science programs. They're useful when there is so much data it overwhelms computing algorithms (if they exist) or the scientific research team attempting to process it.

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Memo to early risers: Look up!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/02 11:46 CDT

There is a traffic jam of planets on the eastern horizon in the early morning right now and for the next several weeks, a prize for those of you who have to rise before dawn.

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The scale of our solar system

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/02 11:26 CDT

Space.com has taken advantage of the infinitely scrollable nature of Web pages to produce a really cool infographic on the scales of orbital distances in the solar system.

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The Moon is a KREEPy place

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/27 01:03 CDT | 2 comments

If you go to a conference about lunar geology, sooner or later you'll hear the term "KREEP" bandied about. (And almost as soon as KREEP is mentioned, a bad pun will be made. It's inevitable.) Context will tell you it has something to do with a special kind of lunar rock, but that'll only get you so far. What is KREEP, and why is it important on the Moon?

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Lovely crater turns up in MoonZoo; 2 million images classified, lots more Moon left

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/18 10:48 CDT

Here's a very pretty picture to start off the week: a really gorgeous fresh crater on the lunar farside. There's nothing particularly unusual about this crater; it's just recent and fresh so there's a mesmerizing amount of detail in the feathery patterns of the ejecta that fans outward from it.

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Comparing Clementine and Chandrayaan-1 spectra from the Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/11 12:38 CDT

In a paper recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Georgiana Kramer and several coauthors performed a careful comparison of two data sets that seem like they're measuring the same things, so you'd think that the measurements they took would match between the two instruments. But they don't quite match.

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