Was there rainfall on Mars? Recent work mapping valley networks suggests there probably was -- but only for about 200 million years. What does this mean for life, and the Curiosity mission?
Just four months ago I posted about a paper recently published by Leslie Young and coauthors that described three possible scenarios for Pluto's atmosphere. Yesterday, Cathy Olkin, Leslie Young, and coauthors posted a preprint on arXiv that says that only one of those scenarios can be true. And it's a surprising one. The title of their paper says it all: "Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse."
Caution: Spacecraft Under Construction
Visiting JPL's high bay clean room with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden
Join Emily Lakdawalla and Mat Kaplan inside JPL's High Bay 1, where two Earth-revealing missions are being readied for launch.
Six months ago, I wrote about the Russian weather satellite Elektro-L, which has more than two years of successful experience in the geostationary orbit. Then I promised that I would be here to share the materials that we collected. I think it's time to deliver on the promise.
The Ancient Snows of Mars on Planetary Radio
Grad student Kat Scanlon leads research indicating precipitation may have helped shape the surface of the red planet
Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/08/06 10:20 CDT
Kat Scanlon tells Planetary Radio that Hawaii and Mars have more in common than you might think.
They're too far apart to have a party, but today Curiosity and Opportunity could have rung in the New Mars Year. Today Mars reached a solar longitude of zero degrees and the Sun crossed Mars' equator, heralding the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere.
A recently published paper proposes that much of the sedimentary rock on Mars formed during rare, brief periods of very slight wetness under melting snow.
Monday was the big Curiosity day at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. A morning press briefing was followed by an afternoon science session. I traveled to San Francisco briefly just to attend those two events. Here's my notes on the first science reports from the mission.
A sharp-eyed amateur noticed two images of Titan taken 20 months apart from nearly exactly the same perspective, and they illustrate how the shifting of Saturn's seasons has brought change to Titan's atmosphere.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/29 11:32 CDT
Today hurricane Sandy is a major threat to life and property across the west coast of the northern Atlantic ocean. I just want to give thanks in advance to all the people who have devoted their careers to making sure that Americans have sufficient warning of devastating, unstoppable weather events like this one.
New ground-based images of Uranus show more finely detailed structure than any photos I have ever seen.
May 16, 2012 is the third martian anniversary of the start of Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) observations from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. MCS started measuring the atmosphere of Mars three Mars years ago, on September 24, 2006. We can now compare the weather and behavior of the atmosphere in three different years, and find the temperature differences to be surprisingly large.
Last week, India launched RISAT 1, a new Earth-observing satellite. How does its synthetic aperture radar compare to that of Envisat, which has fallen silent?
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/03/20 02:16 CDT
One of the topics I found most exciting yesterday was a series of talks on Titan's climate. Bob West showed how Titan's detached haze has shifted with time. Zibi Turtle presented about how Titan's weather has changed with these seasonal changes. Jason Barnes followed up Zibi's talk -- which was based on Cassini camera images -- with a study of the same regions using data from Cassini's imaging spectrometer, trying to figure out what was going on with that brightening. Ralph Lorenz talked about rainfall rates on Titan. Jeff Moore asked: what if Titan hasn't always had a thick atmosphere?