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Blog Archive

 

Planetary discovery over the past quarter century

Steven Hauck • December 20, 2016

2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of what has become one of the primary venues for the publication of research in planetary science: the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. This occasion is a good opportunity to look back at what we have learned in this era of expanded exploration and to try to take a peek at the future.

New Gems from the Moon

Bill Dunford • October 10, 2016

More than seven years after the end of its mission, JAXA has released the entire data set from Kaguya's HDTV cameras.

Video: Two talks featuring pretty pictures from space

Emily Lakdawalla • June 10, 2016

Videos of two recent talks I've given, one intended for a general audience and one aimed at professionals.

Akatsuki begins a productive science mission at Venus

Emily Lakdawalla • May 19, 2016

Japan's Akatsuki Venus orbiter is well into its science mission, and has already produced surprising science results. The mission, originally planned to last two years, could last as many as five, monitoring Venus' atmosphere over the long term.

Atmospheric Waves Awareness: An Explainer

Anna Scott • April 20, 2016

There are two types of atmospheric waves that are critically important on Earth and other planets: gravity waves and planetary waves.

Akatsuki's new orbit, first images, and science plans

Emily Lakdawalla • December 09, 2015

JAXA had a press briefing today to confirm the successful arrival of Akatsuki into Venus orbit. It's been a long time coming: today's announcement came twelve years to the day after Japan had to abandon efforts to put Nozomi into Mars orbit. They released lovely images and discussed future plans.

Live from Sagamihara: Akatsuki in Orbit, Day 1

Sanjay Limaye • December 08, 2015

One day after closest approach, Akatsuki is now speeding away from Venus at 4.09 kilometers per second and is 180,000 kilometers from the planet. In his last report from Sagamihara, Sanjay Limaye gets some updates on the new orbiter's trajectory.

Live from Sagamihara: Akatsuki Orbit Insertion Success!

Sanjay Limaye • December 07, 2015

The Akatsuki team achieved something that no mission as done before – put a spacecraft into orbit around a planet using only the attitude control thrusters. An event that one could not even conceive or propose!

Back from the Brink: Akatsuki Returns to Venus

Ralph Lorenz • December 04, 2015

Perhaps forgotten by the general public in the West, a long-lost spacecraft is set to enter orbit around our sister planet in December, picking up where ESA’s Venus Express left off when its operations ended last year.

Transient hot spots on Venus: Best evidence yet for active volcanism

Emily Lakdawalla • June 18, 2015

In a paper released in Geophysical Research Letters today, Eugene Shalygin and coauthors have announced the best evidence yet for current, active volcanism on Venus. The evidence comes from the Venus Monitoring Camera, which saw transient hot spots in four locations along a system of rifts near Venus' equator. They saw the hot spots in two distinct episodes in 2008 and 2009.

Venus From 33 Years Ago, and Why We Need to Explore

Ted Stryk • March 05, 2015

Thirty-three years ago today, Venera 14 plunged through the thick Venusian atmosphere to the surface. Ted Styrk shares some of his processed images from the Venera lander missions to Venus—and makes a plea for us to return.

Understanding why our most Earth-like neighbor, Venus, is so different

Van Kane • March 02, 2015

Van Kane introduces us to EnVision—a proposed European mission to help improve our understanding of Venus.

Take My Free Online College Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy CSUDH Class

Bruce Betts • February 04, 2015

Our own Dr. Bruce Betts is once again teaching his Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy college course online. Come join him.

Tracking a Ghost Mission 238 Million Km Away

Daniel Scuka • January 10, 2015

Daniel Scuka describes the impending demise of the Venus Express spacecraft.

Close to the end for Venus Express

Emily Lakdawalla • November 24, 2014

Venus Express is nearly out of fuel. Any day could be the last of its long mission to Venus.

Standing on Venus in 1975

Ted Stryk • July 24, 2014

Venera 9 and 10 landed on Venus in 1975 and sent back the first images of the planet's surface. Now, Ted Stryk brings new life to these images to show us what it would be like to stand on the Venusian surface.

Skimming the inner planets: Updates on MESSENGER and Venus Express

Emily Lakdawalla • June 24, 2014

The two spacecraft currently orbiting the two innermost planets are both flying low in their orbits in the final phases of their missions. MESSENGER just performed a rocket burn to raise its orbit slightly, while Venus Express did the opposite.

LPSC 2014: The Curious Case of Active Volcanism on Venus

Constantine Tsang • April 01, 2014

She’s alive! She’s alive! Or is she? A little more than a week ago, at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2014, evidence was presented that Venus was geologically active, not in the recent past, like 100,000 years ago, but right now.

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.

Intro Astronomy Class 4: Eclipses, Mercury, Venus-Earth-Mars Atmospheres, Venus

Bruce Betts • February 28, 2014

This video of class 4 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class discusses eclipses, Mercury, Venus, and a comparison of the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars.

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