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Early MESSENGER science results: Mercury is its own planet, not Moon or Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • June 16, 2011

There was a press briefing today giving some early science results from MESSENGER and it was surprisingly meaty. I'm going to focus on just one set of the results that they presented.

Summer Sights of the Solar System

Ray Sanders • June 07, 2011

What can you expect to see if you look at the night sky this summer (2011)?

Memo to early risers: Look up!

Emily Lakdawalla • May 02, 2011

There is a traffic jam of planets on the eastern horizon in the early morning right now and for the next several weeks, a prize for those of you who have to rise before dawn.

The scale of our solar system

Emily Lakdawalla • May 02, 2011

Space.com has taken advantage of the infinitely scrollable nature of Web pages to produce a really cool infographic on the scales of orbital distances in the solar system.

Mercury's Weird Terrain

Emily Lakdawalla • April 19, 2011

When Mariner 10 flew past Mercury, it caught an immense impact basin lying half in and half out of sunlight, which they named Caloris. Even with only half the basin visible, scientists knew it was one of the largest in the solar system. Geologists had to wait more than 25 years to see the rest of Caloris, and when they did it turned out to be even bigger than they had thought. But the fact that Caloris was only half in sunlight was fortuitous in one sense, because it meant that the spot on Mercury that was exactly opposite the area of the Caloris impact was also partially in sunlight. That spot looks weird.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: What's up in the second quarter of 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • April 07, 2011

Regular readers of this blog will find the content of today's 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast familiar, because it's an update on what the solar system exploration spacecraft are up to, based on my monthly "what's up" updates.

Welcome to Carnival of Space #191

Emily Lakdawalla • April 05, 2011

Welcome, everyone, to the Planetary Society Blog for the 191st Carnival of Space! Every week, a different webmaster or blogger hosts the Carnival, showcasing articles written on the topic of space.

Images and data now pouring in from MESSENGER at Mercury

Emily Lakdawalla • March 30, 2011

Today the MESSENGER mission held a press briefing to show off some of the first images and other data that are streaming in from the spacecraft, now that it has entered Mercury orbit.

MESSENGER delivers its first image from Mercury

Emily Lakdawalla • March 29, 2011

This is MESSENGER's very first photo from Mercury orbit, a wide-angle view that reaches right to Mercury's south pole, exposing a very tiny sliver of territory not previously seen by spacecraft.

A radio show on Mercury and a space carnival

Emily Lakdawalla • March 28, 2011

Today's Planetary Radio features Sean Solomon on the successful arrival of MESSENGER at Mercury. After checking that out, wander over to the 190th Carnival of Space, hosted this week by Paul Gilster over at Centauri Dreams.

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