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Blog Archive

 

Isostasy, gravity, and the Moon: an explainer of the first results of the GRAIL mission

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/11 01:04 CST | 15 comments

Last week the GRAIL mission published their first scientific results, and what they have found will send many geophysicists back to the drawing board to explain how the Moon formed and why it looks the way it does now. To explain how, I'm going to have to back way up, and explain the basic science behind gravity data.

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Reviews of nonfiction book series for children

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/10 05:49 CST

Here are four recommended space nonfiction book series that would make excellent additions to any children's library.

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Blast from the past: Mariner 4's images of Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/10 09:15 CST | 5 comments

While hunting for photos to use in a presentation, I came across a couple of different amateur takes on the Mariner 4 photo catalog.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3151-3153 - December 5-7, 2012

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2012/12/07 10:27 CST

An attempt to bump left and get a small bright vein into the instrument deployment device (IDD) work volume failed to get the target in the work plane.

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Asteroid 4179 Toutatis' upcoming encounters with Earth and Chang'E 2

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/06 12:19 CST | 6 comments

Near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis will be passing within 7 million kilometers of Earth on December 12. Both radio telescopes and the Chang'E 2 spacecraft will be acquiring images.

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Curiosity update, sol 117: Progress report from AGU

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/05 07:58 CST | 4 comments

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.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: present and future rovers

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/05 06:56 CST | 3 comments

The Planetary Society has a new weekly Google+ Hangout time slot, Thursdays at noon PT / 1800 UT. This week, Casey Dreier and I talked about the Curiosity kerfuffle and NASA's future rover plans. Here's the archived recording.

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Rovers are awesome, but where's the science?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/05 03:55 CST | 17 comments

Now that Casey has explained the budget implications of yesterday's 2020 rover announcement, and The Planetary Society has issued a formal statement, I thought it was time for me to talk briefly about science.

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Dawn Journal: Hydrazine Haste Makes Waste

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2012/12/05 11:02 CST | 1 comment

By saving fuel, Dawn will arrive at Ceres in 2015 with about half of the 45.6-kilogram (101-pound) hydrazine supply it had when it rocketed away from Cape Canaveral.

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The 2020 Rover in Context
It's not as a big of a change as you might think

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/12/05 02:24 CST | 4 comments

The 2020 rover announced today is entirely consistent with NASA's reduced commitment to planetary exploration due to its 2013 budget.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Digs In at Matijevic Hill
Sols 3119 - 3147

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2012/12/03 08:34 CST | 1 comment

While Curiosity and her team found themselves entangled in a media furor over comments, assumptions, and rumors of findings that have yet to be found, Opportunity roved on in November, finishing up the geologic survey of Matijevic Hill and setting a new mileage record along the way.

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The Curiosity Kerfuffle: the big (and increasing) difference between data and discovery

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/03 03:12 CST | 17 comments

I'm in San Francisco, reporting from the American Geophysical Union meeting. This morning, there was a much-anticipated press briefing featuring the latest results from Curiosity.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3150 - December 3, 2012

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2012/12/03 10:27 CST

Here at station 14 we have decided to do a detailed investigation of an outcrop that is well exposed and lies within an area where there is orbital remote-sensing evidence for clay minerals. These particular rocks are interesting in that they contain a lot of thin veins and alteration zones along joints (cracks) in the outcrops.

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