Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/11 11:24 CST
My inbox was exploding this morning with messages about a tremendously cool animation released this morning by ESA's Mars Express team. It shows Phobos crossing Deimos, in what's known as a "mutual event."
Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2009/12/10 04:53 CST
Climate change and Copenhagen are dominating the world news this week, as politicians, diplomats, scientists, and protesters gathered in the Danish city for the 2009 meeting for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/10 11:42 CST
Welcome to the tenth post in my "Advent Calendar" -- I am opening a door each day on a different world in the solar system, and I'll be continuing to do so until New Year's Day.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/09 01:55 CST
Here's another weird-looking one, though it's less weird from this particular, polar point of view than it is when viewed from the side.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/09 01:46 CST
I wrote a few weeks ago about a new Send Your Name to Venus campaign conducted by the Akatsuki mission. Now The Planetary Society has arranged with JAXA to collect names and messages on our website.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/08 12:50 CST
I love this asteroid. It's just so weird-looking.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/07 03:11 CST
Jupiter has been high overhead at sunset for several months, a brilliant light that's easy to spot even when the sky is still bright at dusk; but it's now moving quickly to the west as Earth speeds ahead of Jupiter's more stately march around the Sun.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/07 10:43 CST
Galileo, the scientist, discovered the Galilean satellites of Jupiter four hundred years ago next month, while Galileo, the mission, arrived at Jupiter to study those moons in situ fourteen years ago Sunday.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/06 08:00 CST
Umbriel is the darkest moon in a pretty dark place in the solar system, the Uranus system.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/05 09:17 CST
Epimetheus is one of the many small moons of Saturn that are referred to by the Cassini mission team as "rocks" though they are probably mostly made of ice, not rock.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/04 02:41 CST
Mercury is the smallest of the eight planets and, like Uranus and Neptune, has so far been studied only during flyby encounters.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/03 04:20 CST
From a distance, Jupiter's fourth largest moon Europa is the smoothest object in the solar system; its outline traces out a perfect circle.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/02 04:42 CST
253 Mathilde is the largest asteroid that has ever been visited by a spacecraft. It's held that distinction for more than twelve years, but next year it'll be upstaged by the considerably larger 21 Lutetia, which Rosetta will fly by on July 10.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/02 01:34 CST
Members of The Planetary Society, you should now be receiving your November/December issue of The Planetary Report in the mail.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/01 04:08 CST
I've always loved advent calendars and the way they both managed and heightened my anticipation of the gift-opening frenzy of Christmas morning.
Posted by Marc Rayman on 2009/12/01 11:22 CST
Dawn entered the main asteroid belt on November 13. As it ventures ever deeper into this vast collection of material between Mars and Jupiter, it may be tempting to think of the spacecraft constantly dodging asteroids.