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Latest Guest Blog Posts

Dawn Journal: 9th Anniversary

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2016/09/29 12:05 CDT

Nine years ago today, Dawn set sail on an epic journey of discovery and adventure. The intrepid explorer has sailed the cosmic seas and collected treasures that far exceeded anything anticipated or even hoped for.

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Women on Spacecraft Missions: Are we moving towards parity with the percentage in the field?

Posted by Julie Rathbun on 2016/09/16 09:01 CDT | 1 comment

How far have we come and how far do we still need to go to welcome women into planetary science, and, particularly, spacecraft missions?

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A deep dive into the highest-resolution Voyager Jupiter data

Posted by Björn Jónsson on 2016/09/14 08:00 CDT

A few weeks before the first Juno high resolution imaging, I decided to take a look at Voyager color images at various resolutions, with particular attention to high-resolution mosaics.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 4482 - September 2, 2016

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2016/09/09 09:04 CDT | 1 comment

Opportunity is about to leave Marathon Valley for good and head south into the next valley, marking the beginning of the current extended mission plan.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Gets in the Groove, Wraps Science Marathon Valley

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2016/09/05 11:01 CDT

Opportunity got in the groove at Endeavour Crater in August finishing the last of her science assignments in Marathon Valley.

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Dawn Journal: Diving Low

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2016/09/01 10:08 CDT | 11 comments

Following the conclusion of Dawn's ambitious 8.8-year prime mission on June 30, the spacecraft has been gathering a wealth of data with all sensors in its extended mission as it orbits closer to Ceres than the International Space Station is to Earth.

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Let’s be careful about this “SETI” signal

Posted by Franck Marchis on 2016/08/30 12:19 CDT | 10 comments

Several readers have contacted me recently about reports that a group of international astronomers have detected a strong signal coming from a distant star that could be a sign of a high-technology civilization. Here’s my reaction: it’s interesting, but it’s definitely not the sign of an alien civilization—at least not yet.

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Will Juno’s Instruments Observe the Moons of Jupiter?

Posted by Candice Hansen on 2016/08/30 10:38 CDT | 2 comments

It is not easy to observe Jupiter’s moons as more than points of light with Juno, because Juno will never get very close to any of the moons, but as its orbit shifts there will be opportunities to collect data on some of the moons.

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Selecting the Next New Frontiers Mission

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/08/29 08:09 CDT | 12 comments

NASA’s managers have begun the process for a competition to select a new planetary mission to launch in the mid-2020s that will address one of the most important questions in planetary science.

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Proxima Centauri b: Have we just found Earth’s cousin right on our doorstep?

Posted by Franck Marchis on 2016/08/24 12:01 CDT | 19 comments

What began as a tantalizing rumor has just become an astonishing fact. Today a group of thirty-one scientists announced the discovery of a terrestrial exoplanet orbiting Proxima Centauri. The discovery of this planet, Proxima Centauri b, is a huge breakthrough not just for astronomers but for all of us. Here’s why.

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