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How I Gave My Preschool Class Mars Fever

Posted by Emily Cotman on 2013/10/18 11:58 CDT | 8 comments

It all started when we read a book called, There's Nothing to Do on Mars, by Chris Gall. And then something wonderful happened.

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Uranus Awaits

Posted by Geraint Jones on 2013/10/18 11:23 CDT | 3 comments

It’s been a long time since anyone paid Uranus a visit. The Uranus system is, however, fascinating, as evidenced by the wealth of topics covered by the diverse group of planetary scientists who gathered to discuss it last week at the Paris Observatory.

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DPS 2013: The fascination of tiny worlds

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/17 02:27 CDT | 7 comments

In which I summarize Joe Veverka's Kuiper Prize talk at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting: "Small is NOT Dull: Unravelling the Complexity of Surface Processes on Asteroids, Comets and Small Satellites."

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One for the history books: Stunning Saturn mosaic captured last week by Cassini

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/16 07:15 CDT | 5 comments

I try to be measured in my praise for spacecraft images. Not every photo can be the greatest space image ever. But this enormous mosaic showing the flattened globe of Saturn floating within the complete disk of its rings must surely be counted among the great images of the Cassini mission.

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Juno is in Safe Mode again, but still okay
All Earth flyby data on the ground, including JunoCam images

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/16 06:59 CDT | 6 comments

After entering safe mode last week during its Earth flyby, Juno returned to normal operations and downlinked all engineering and science instrument data. It entered safe mode again on Sunday night, but it is expected to re-resume normal operations late next week.

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DPS 2013: Confusing Curiosity SAM results

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/15 03:47 CDT | 7 comments

What did I learn about Curiosity at last week's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting? There were a few talks, most of which concerned soil and atmsospheric chemistry. I can summarize their conclusions with one sentence: More data is needed.

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America's Pastime: Planetary Science
Planetary Radio brings the home team to playoff week

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/10/15 12:16 CDT

Apologies to baseball fans and others for the theme of this week's Planetary Radio preview, which has star player Emily Lakdawalla on deck.

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Curiosity: still roving

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/15 11:33 CDT | 2 comments

Every day, I get a question from somebody about whether Curiosity has been shut down. It hasn't, and here's the thing: you can determine that for yourself

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Alpha Centauri Planet Hunt Update

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/10/15 11:27 CDT | 2 comments

An update from Yale’s Debra Fischer about the Alpha Centauri planet hunt, partially sponsored by The Planetary Society, as well as her team’s efforts to remove “noise” from parent stars to help find exoplanets.

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Cosmos With Cosmos Episode 1: The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean
In which Sagan puts us in our place (between immensity and eternity)

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/10/14 02:37 CDT | 17 comments

We face immensity and a taste of things to come in the first episode of Cosmos, but we're also provided with the tools to comprehend our own place within the universe.

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The Gems of Mars

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/10/14 02:25 CDT | 2 comments

An instrument on MRO can see minerals. What it finds can be pretty interesting.

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Introducing Cosmos with Cosmos
Let's Grab a Drink and Watch Cosmos Together

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/10/10 08:07 CDT | 23 comments

Let's grab a drink and watch the original Cosmos together. We'll provide write-ups and discussion every week through the entire original series. Get together with your friends!

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Juno is in safe mode, but okay and on course following Earth flyby

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/09 05:56 CDT | 5 comments

Following its Earth flyby earlier today, Juno is in safe mode. This is the protective state a spacecraft goes into when it detects a problem. But everything is okay. For more details, I just spoke with Rick Nybakken, Juno Project Manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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DPS 2013: Tidbits from Titan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/09 05:19 CDT | 8 comments

I attended a few talks at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting today that concerned Titan's origin and interesting surface, and then one in the afternoon about the atmosphere.

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Juno Flies By Earth Today
Closest approach at 12:21pm PDT / 19:21 UTC

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/10/09 12:17 CDT | 2 comments

NASA's Juno spacecraft gets a gravity assist from the Earth on its way to Jupiter today. Learn all about today's close approach.

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Juno's flying by Earth today, and images of the Moon are already on the ground!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/09 11:25 CDT | 1 comments

Juno flies past Earth for a gravity assist at 19:22 UTC today, and the first images from the encounter are already on the ground and processed by amateurs!

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Your Name...On Its Way to the Stars?
Jon Lomberg on the New Horizons Message Initiative

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/10/08 07:29 CDT

This week's Planetary Radio features artist Jon Lomberg inviting listeners to join the New Horizons Message Initiative.

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An early look at Comet ISON

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/10/08 01:01 CDT | 2 comments

Comet ISON is brightening as it approaches the Sun, and can now be seen from many ground-based telescopes.

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Our Improved Optical Search for ET
New hardware processes terabytes of data every second

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/10/08 11:15 CDT

The Planetary Society Optical SETI (OSETI) Telescope was successfully upgraded and fully tested, and is now fully operational looking for aliens. Here are some updates on the performance and progress. In summary, the upgraded telescope is performing just as hoped and is scanning the skies.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Roves to Solander West, into Winter Campground
Sols 3415 - 3444

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2013/10/07 07:06 CDT

The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission stepped up preparations for the coming Martian winter in September as Opportunity rounded the northern tip of Solander Point and drove into what will be her campground at Endeavour Crater for the next six months or so. It's been nearly a year in the planning. Now, from the rover's first look around, this winter could turn out to be one for the books.

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