Both Spirit and Opportunity are still suffering under incredibly dark skies, but, amazingly, they are both "power-positive," meaning that they are managing to produce enough power from the limited amount of sunlight to keep the batteries fully charged.
Today, New Scientist and researcher Ron Levin retracted the "puddles on Mars" claim in the face of evidence that the "puddles" were on sloping surfaces. I've updated my original blog entry in response to the claim to that effect.
Today's set of image releases from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE team included this one, of a fairly bland-looking lava plain to the northeast of Arsia Mons. Bland, that is, except for a black spot in the center.
According to a press release issued this morning by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the enormous solar flare that erupted on December 5 and 6 last year was accompanied by an intense radio burst that caused large numbers of Global Positioning System recivers to stop tracking the signal from the orbiting GPS satellites.
What should arrive in my inbox today but a press release from the Cassini RPWS and magnetometer teams saying, in part, "the little moon Enceladus is weighing down giant Saturn's magnetic field so much that the field is rotating slower than the planet."
I received this report on the Tuesday afternoon special session on volcanism and tectonism on Saturn's satellites from Anne Verbiscer, an astronomer from the University of Virginia who I first met at the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting in 2005.
There were two new pictures posted on the New Horizons Science Operations Center website this morning, of Io, and if you enhance the images a bit, there are two clear volcanic plumes visible on the limb -- Tvashtar and Prometheus are active!
This amazing view was captured by the CIVA camera on Rosetta's Philae lander just four minutes before its closest approach to Mars on February 25, 2007. The spacecraft was only 1,000 kilometers above the planet.
It's easy to forget that Mars is another such world with cloudy weather and seasonally varying climate. This lovely image release from the CRISM instrument on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter brings that point home.
I wrote recently about a set of images of Saturn acquired by Cassini from a unique vantage point, well above the planet, looking down on the rings. Someone has taken up the challenge of assembling the 36 different images into a single mosaic, in color, and it is as lovely as I'd hoped.
A year after its launch on January 19, 2006, New Horizons is fast closing in on Jupiter, the first target on its near decade-long journey. On February 28 the spacecraft will approach to within 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) of Jupiter before speeding along on to its way to the edge of the solar system.