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We Need You to Stand Up for Planetary Exploration

Casey Dreier • November 08, 2013

Congress and the White House are making decisions that impact funding for NASA's Planetary Exploration missions. We need to tell them that YES we are paying attention and care about the future of exploration.

MAVEN has arrived at the launch pad

Emily Lakdawalla • November 08, 2013

As India's Mars Orbiter Mission continues to pump up the altitude of its orbit around Earth, NASA's MAVEN is making final preparations for its direct-to-Mars launch. All is proceeding acccording to schedule toward its November 18 launch at 1:28 EST / 10:28 PST / 18:28 UTC.

"How do I get that lovely pin?" you may ask...

Bill Nye • November 07, 2013

Tonight, I'm on The Big Bang Theory with Bob Newhart. I hope you watch closely enough to notice the pin in my lapel. It's our pin, The Planetary Society logo pin. It's the coolest logo pin ever. So, you're probably wondering how to get one. Join The Planetary Society by November 15, and we'll send you a pin.

Neptune: The new amateur boundary?

Christophe Pellier • November 07, 2013

Can features on Neptune be observed by amateur astronomers? For years, the Hubble Space Telescope and some professional terrestrial observatories have been revealing incomplete belts and spots on the surface of Neptune. Now, spots have been imaged by amateurs.

Europe Bypasses Solar System for Upcoming Science Missions

Van Kane • November 06, 2013

The European Space Agency has selected two astrophysics observatories as its next large science missions, overlooking every proposed planetary mission. ESA's current selection of planetary missions, however, means it will still be a major player in solar system exploration for the next two decades.

Mars Orbiter Mission update: first apogee-raising burn completed

Emily Lakdawalla • November 06, 2013

When the Mars Orbiter Mission launched yesterday, it launched into Earth orbit. The Mars Orbiter Mission must perform several rocket burns in order to increase its orbital altitude before departing for Mars. The first burn was completed successfully just minutes ago.

The solar eclipse in Africa seen from space

Vitaliy Egorov • November 05, 2013

On Sunday, the shadow of the Moon passed across Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. This was the last solar eclipse of the year. The Elektro-L satellite was able to observe the eclipse, and we can see the darkness of the lunar shadow covering Africa.

Planetary Radio: Looking for Intelligence in a Flash

Mat Kaplan • November 05, 2013

An update on the Planetary Society's improved Optical SETI search, with Harvard's Paul Horowitz and Curtis Mead.

A picture-perfect launch for ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission

Emily Lakdawalla • November 05, 2013

The PSLV carrying ISRO's Mars Orbiter mission shot like a firework off the launch pad today, placing the spacecraft precisely into its planned elliptical orbit of Earth. Now the 10-month cruise phase begins. Congratulations to ISRO!

Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 4: Heaven & Hell

Casey Dreier • November 04, 2013

Humans face the consequences of our own knowledge about the cosmos in this latest episode recap and analysis of Carl Sagan's classic series.

Watching the Mars Orbiter Mission launch

Emily Lakdawalla • November 04, 2013

Here is a list I've compiled of places that I'll be watching for news of the Mars Orbiter Mission launch...

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Gets Back to the Past at Winter Site

A.J.S. Rayl • November 04, 2013

As fall began to give way to winter at Endeavour Crater, Opportunity cruised deeper into her campsite on the western side of Solander Point in October, heading for a site that may contain clay minerals and the rover's next big discovery, and the Mars Exploration Rovers mission trekked another month closer to its 10th anniversary in January 2014.

Dawn Journal: Thrusting Toward Ceres

Marc Rayman • November 03, 2013

Deep in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Dawn is continuing its smooth, silent flight toward dwarf planet Ceres. Far behind it now is the giant protoplanet Vesta, which the spacecraft transformed from a tiny splotch in the night sky to an exotic and richly detailed world.

Creating Life on a Gas Giant

Adolf Schaller • November 02, 2013

Adolf Schaller, an artist on the original Cosmos series, shares his experience of creating the painting, "Hunters, Floaters, and Sinkers" from Episode 2, which speculates about the possible life living in the turbulent atmosphere of a gas-giant planet.

PLANETARY RADIO LIVE: MAVEN Launches for Mars

Mat Kaplan • November 01, 2013

Host Mat Kaplan will be joined by Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bruce Betts and Emily Lakdawalla for this special live event.

Space fan produces animated trailer for Chang'e 3 mission

Emily Lakdawalla • November 01, 2013

This animation is cool! It's not an official outreach product, just the hard work of a space enthusiast excited about the upcoming launch of Chang'e 3.

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