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Our journalists and guest bloggers bring you stunning imagery and the space stories that matter most.

Planetary Geomorphology Image of the Month: Water tracks on Earth and Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • July 18, 2013 • 3

The International Association of Geomorphologists' "planetary geomorphology image of the month," contributed by Joe Levy, features water tracks on Earth and compares them to recurring slope lineae on Mars.

One Ocean World Among Many

Jim Bell • June 03, 2013 • 6

I'm absolutely floored when I stop to think that our beautiful blue ocean is only one of perhaps a half dozen or more oceans on other worlds in our solar system, and only one of probably millions (or more) oceans on other Earth-like planets in our galaxy. Oceans abound!

LPSC 2013: Seeing in Permanent Shadow

Michael Poston • April 03, 2013 • 1

The case for water ice hidden in permanently shadowed regions at the north pole of the planet Mercury received another boost recently. On Wednesday March 20, 2013 at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Nancy Chabot presented the very first visible-light images of what is in the shadows of these polar craters.

LPSC 2013: License to Chill (or, the solar system's icy moons)

Emily Lakdawalla • March 27, 2013

Reports from the March 19 session at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference covering eight icy moons in the outer solar system: Ganymede, Europa, Dione, Rhea, Mimas, Tethys, Enceladus, and Miranda.

Yes, it was once a Martian lake: Curiosity has been sent to the right place

Emily Lakdawalla • March 12, 2013 • 7

The news from the Curiosity mission today is this: Curiosity has found, at the site called John Klein, a rock that contains evidence for a past environment that would have been suitable for Earth-like microorganisms.

Notes from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference: Making Cassini's radar images prettier

Emily Lakdawalla • March 26, 2012

One of the more exciting talks last week was given by Antoine Lucas about his work with Oded Aharonson "denoising" Cassini radar images of Titan. Cassini's radar images are superior to the camera photos in revealing fine details and topography on Titan's surface, but they do suffer from a random noise component that makes the pictures look snowy. Antoine and Oded have developed a method for removing much of this noise.

Notes from Titan talks at the 2012 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC)

Emily Lakdawalla • March 20, 2012

One of the topics I found most exciting yesterday was a series of talks on Titan's climate. Bob West showed how Titan's detached haze has shifted with time. Zibi Turtle presented about how Titan's weather has changed with these seasonal changes. Jason Barnes followed up Zibi's talk -- which was based on Cassini camera images -- with a study of the same regions using data from Cassini's imaging spectrometer, trying to figure out what was going on with that brightening. Ralph Lorenz talked about rainfall rates on Titan. Jeff Moore asked: what if Titan hasn't always had a thick atmosphere?

Has Mars Express MARSIS data proved that Mars once had a northern ocean?

Emily Lakdawalla • February 07, 2012

There's been a bit of buzz on the Web this week regarding an ESA press release titled "ESA's Mars Express radar gives strong evidence for former Mars ocean." I don't ordinarily write about press-released science papers, but am making an exception for this one.

Parallel planetary processes create semantic headaches

Emily Lakdawalla • January 26, 2012

I ran into a semantic problem today: what to call the science of studying liquids on Titan?

New Horizons Day 2: Liquids on Pluto's surface?

Emily Lakdawalla • September 13, 2011

Jeff Moore's presentation was cool because of the discussion it stimulated. He considered what exogenic processes might be operating on Pluto's surface. What's an exogenic process? It's something that modifies the shape of the surface from the outside, and doesn't require the body to be geologically active inside.

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