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What We Know About the Russian Meteor Event [UPDATED]
We have the technology to provide warning about these potential disasters

Posted by Heidi Hammel on 2013/02/15 02:26 CST | 22 comments

Preliminary estimates show that the meteoroid was 15 meters wide and weighed roughly 8000 tons. The resulting airburst would have the equivalent yield of about a 1/2 megaton explosion.

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An evening that brought me very close to Curiosity

Posted by Damia Bouic on 2013/02/15 09:00 CST | 3 comments

Damien Bouic received some well-deserved recognition from the Chemcam team for his great Curiosity image processing work.

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BREAKING: Meteor fall causes damage in Russia [UPDATED]

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/15 01:44 CST | 13 comments

A large meteor streaked through the skies above Russia on the morning of Feb 15th, causing a deafening sonic boom that shattered windows and injured hundreds.

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The Sequester Will Cut NASA Science by an Additional $52 million

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/02/14 04:06 CST | 3 comments

Brand new information about the effects of the across-the-board cuts known as Sequestration, if they were to be enacted.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout, Thu Feb 14 1200PT/2000UT: Courtney Dressing

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/14 01:40 CST | 3 comments

Emily Lakdawalla and Courtney Dressing talked about just how common Earth-sized exoplanets may be in our neighborhood. Watch the replay here.

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Why can Hubble get detailed views of distant galaxies but not of Pluto?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/14 12:37 CST | 15 comments

How come Hubble's pictures of galaxies billions of light years away are so beautifully detailed, yet the pictures of Pluto, which is so much closer, are just little blobs? I get asked this question, or variations of it, a lot. Here's an explainer.

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A forgotten image of Earth and the Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/13 07:45 CST | 4 comments

While researching another story, I came across an image I don't remember ever seeing before, of a moonrise from an unexpected source.

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What Has NASA Done for Me Lately?

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/02/13 06:04 CST | 7 comments

NASA released its Spinoff 2012 report, detailing the numerous technology transfers, inventions, and economic impact by the U.S. space program.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3215-3219 - February 6-13, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/02/13 10:27 CST

We have been seeing lots of small light-colored veins crossing through the outcrops here on Matijevic Hill, and we have tried to get a handle on the composition of these veins by doing multiple offsets with the APXS. It appears that the small veins are calcium sulfate, as best we can determine.

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JPL's Mohawk Guy Invited to Attend the State of the Union Address, Despite Cuts to Planetary Exploration

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/02/12 01:53 CST | 1 comments

Bobak "Mohawk Guy" Ferdowsi of JPL will join First Lady Michelle Obama as a guest at today's State of the Union address.

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Washington Update
Bill Nye traveled to Washington, D.C. with friend and Planetary Society board member Neil deGrasse Tyson

Posted by Bill Nye on 2013/02/11 04:12 CST | 2 comments

Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson spoke to the House Science committee about the importance of space and scientific research. Bill Nye also visited with Congressman Culberson and Congressman Wolf's chief of staffabout supporting NASA's Planetary Science Program.

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New Contest: Name the Moons of Pluto!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/11 11:41 CST | 15 comments

The discoverers of Pluto's fourth and fifth moons are inviting the public to vote on (and write in candidates for) their formal names. Voting closes in two weeks.

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The Earth is a Planet: Why We Explore Space

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/02/11 10:50 CST

Why spend effort and scarce resources on space exploration when we have so many problems here at home? Turns out, there are some pretty good reasons.

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Browsing Landsat data is a lot easier than I thought it was

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/08 05:05 CST | 2 comments

With the Landsat Data Continuity Mission scheduled to launch on Monday, there's been a lot of Tweeting about Landsat, and through one such Tweet I learned about a resource that I hadn't known existed before: the LandsatLook Viewer. This is a graphical interface to more than a decade worth of Landsat data, a tremendous resource for anyone interested in Earth's changing surface, natural or manmade.

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Pretty picture: tessera terrain on Venus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/07 04:18 CST | 1 comments

In which I dive into the Magellan radar data set and come up with some images of an unusual and possibly unique solar system terrain: tessera.

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Planetary Society Hangout Thursday Feb 7th at 12:00 PST/20:00 UT: Snow and Ice on Mars with Paul Hayne

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/02/07 02:55 CST | 3 comments

Join us this week as we feature our guest, Dr. Paul Hayne from JPL. Dr. Hayne studies snow and ice on Mars, extreme temperatures of the Moon, and is on the Cassini science team. He also founded the group Young Scientists for Planetary Exploration to help organize early-career scientists to be aware of the politics of space.

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Mars Exploration Rover Update: Opportunity Quietly Completes 9 Years Uncovering More Evidence of Water
Sols 3178 - 3208

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2013/02/06 03:13 CST | 1 comments

With its robot nose to the Martian grindstone, Opportunity completed its ninth year of working on Mars in January, making another significant science discovery in tiny white veins on Matijevic Hill as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission rolled on into Year 10.

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My Free Online College Intro Astronomy Class Starts Today
Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/02/06 02:03 CST | 5 comments

Bruce Betts is teaching online Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy at California State University Dominguez Hill again in 2013. You can watch live or archived.

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Tell Us How Planetary Science Is Cheap, Be Entered to Win
Send us your comparisons of the price of planetary science to...anything

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/02/06 07:03 CST

Submit an entry comparing the cost of Planetary Science at NASA to...anything. You'll be entered to win a prize. Exploring the solar system costs less than many people think, let's give everyone food for thought.

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Sequestration and Planetary Exploration (updated)

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/02/05 07:01 CST | 2 comments

The latest news in the United States is that a poison pill known as the Sequester is looking increasingly likely. If it happens, it will be a body blow to NASA’s planetary science program.

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