Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/30 03:20 CDT
Congratulations to the Mars Climate Sounder team on winning a spot for a successor instrument aboard the next Mars orbiter, the joint NASA-ESA ExoMars, set to launch in 2016.
Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2010/08/29 11:58 CDT
Visualization can help the brain comprehend what words and numbers can struggle to covey. There's a YouTube video posted by "szyzyg" making the rounds right now that drives that point home.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/27 05:02 CDT
I've had a fun morning of noodling around learning how to write KML files, and have produced one for Google Mars that shows you all of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter tracks that cross the area Opportunity has driven through already, as well as the area of Endeavour crater.
Posted by Amir Alexander on 2010/08/27 02:32 CDT
Two nearly simultaneous announcements by scientists that they have detected entire planetary system deep in space have set the astronomical community abuzz.
Posted by Bruce Betts on 2010/08/26 12:00 CDT
One of the instruments on a 2016 mission to orbit Mars will provide daily maps of global, pole-to-pole, vertical distributions of the temperature, dust, water vapor and ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere.
I got an advance copy of the first episode of "Bad Astronomer" Phil Plait's new series Bad Universe today.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/24 11:36 CDT
Following up on the story I first posted on August 22, the Jupiter impact fireball first noticed by Japanese amateur astronomer Masayuki Tachikawa has been independently confirmed by two other Japanese astronomers.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/22 05:03 CDT
This may be a very common event after all: another optical flash has been observed on Jupiter, again from an observer far east of the Greenwich meridian, though it was not Anthony Wesley (for once).
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/19 05:25 CDT
Sky & Telescope has just issued a set of 10 DVDs that contain every issue of the magazine published from the premier issue in November 1941 through December 2009, chronicling seven decades of scientific discovery and, of course, the entirety of the Space Age.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/17 12:04 CDT
MESSENGER is in a unique position in the solar system, orbiting the Sun well within the orbit of Venus. From there, it can gaze outward from the Sun to search for tiny objects that may possibly be traveling in the same region, called vulcanoids.
Posted by Emily Martin on 2010/08/16 01:42 CDT
In response to Emily's entry about finally getting her hands on a subscription to the planetary science journal Icarus, I thought I would report on an article from the most recent issue: Geology of the Selk crater region on Titan from Cassini VIMS observations, by Jason Soderblom and 11 other scientists.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/14 06:52 CDT
Over the last couple of days Cassini flew past Enceladus, Tethys and Dione, so there are lots of treats to see on the raw images website! You should go check it out for yourself, but here are a couple of real favorites.