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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Hibernates Still, Opportunity Pulls into Cambridge Bay

A.J.S. Rayl • August 31, 2010

With the Sun beginning to warm the landscape in the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet and winds whipping up here and there forming dust devils that kick the powdery, rust-colored topsoil into the atmosphere, the Mars Exploration Rovers have been experiencing sure signs of a Martian spring this month.

What's up in the solar system in September 2010

Emily Lakdawalla • August 30, 2010

This month there will be approximately a hundred different planetary science meetings (a list of which is at the end of this post).

Successor to Mars Climate Orbiter will fly aboard ExoMars

Emily Lakdawalla • August 30, 2010

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.

New Flickr collection of historical NASA photos

Emily Lakdawalla • August 30, 2010

NASA announced today that they had placed several new sets of historical photos on their "NASA on the Commons" Flickr site, and invited the public to help tag and caption the photos.

The Potential to Destroy Civilization? Now on YouTube

Charlene Anderson • August 29, 2010

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.

Bringing MOLA altimetry tracks into Google Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • August 27, 2010

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.

From the Ground and from Space, New Planetary Systems Unveiled

Amir Alexander • August 27, 2010

Two nearly simultaneous announcements by scientists that they have detected entire planetary system deep in space have set the astronomical community abuzz.

Jupiter's swirling storms from Voyager 1

Emily Lakdawalla • August 26, 2010

Amateur image mage Björn Jónsson has recently turned his attention back to Voyager 1's close-up images of Jupiter.

Tracing the Big Picture of Mars' Atmosphere

Bruce Betts • August 26, 2010

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.

Review: Phil Plait's Bad Universe, new series on Discovery

Emily Lakdawalla • August 26, 2010

I got an advance copy of the first episode of "Bad Astronomer" Phil Plait's new series Bad Universe today.

A first look at distant hills

Emily Lakdawalla • August 25, 2010

Rover fans have been excitedly watching the hills on Opportunity's horizon grow taller and taller as Opportunity rolls toward its destination, Endeavour crater.

The August 20, 2010 Jupiter fireball -- and the March 5, 1979 one

Emily Lakdawalla • August 24, 2010

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.

A space calendar in "the cloud"

Emily Lakdawalla • August 23, 2010

I've spent today fiddling around with Google Calendar and have created a wholly new calendar of space events for the blog.

Yet another Jupiter impact!? August 20, seen from Japan

Emily Lakdawalla • August 22, 2010

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).

Three things to watch

Emily Lakdawalla • August 20, 2010

It's high summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway) and many of you may be seeking shelter from the heat. If you need to collapse on the couch and watch TV, I have three space-y recommendations for you.

Exposing Io's true colors

Jason Perry • August 20, 2010

Thanks to its active volcanic activity and sulfur-rich surface, Io is one of the most colorful worlds yet seen in the Solar System, save the Earth of course

Review: "The Complete Sky & Telescope: Seven Decade Collection"

Emily Lakdawalla • August 19, 2010

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.

The edge of "round": Three half-megameter moons

Emily Lakdawalla • August 18, 2010

Part of the definition of a planet is a solar system body's roundness.

MESSENGER: A snapshot of home

Emily Lakdawalla • August 17, 2010

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.

Decoding a Titan crater

Emily Martin • August 16, 2010

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.

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