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Hangout on Air: Why yesterday was a good day for Solar System Science

Emily Lakdawalla • March 27, 2014

On Wednesday, March 26, two important discoveries in the outer solar system were announced: the discovery of the second confirmed member of the Inner Oort Cloud (2012 VP113) and the discovery of rings around the planetesimal Chariklo. In a Hangout on Air, a rag-tag group of planetary scientists and astronomers active on Twitter talked about the discoveries.

A second Sedna! What does it mean?

Emily Lakdawalla • March 26, 2014 • 11

2012 VP113 is a new world that has been discovered on a Sedna-like orbit. What does that mean? It could imply the existence of a planet X, but doesn't prove it. It does suggest that a lot more Sednas are waiting to be discovered.

2015 will be the Year of the Dwarf Planet, and you need to tell people about it!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 05, 2014 • 11

I am very excited about 2015, more so than I have been about any year since I started working at The Planetary Society. Dawn will enter orbit at Ceres, and New Horizons, which will fly past Pluto and Charon. But if we want this kind of exploration to continue, I'm challenging you, dear readers, to tell the world why such non-planetary worlds are compelling places to go exploring.

Predicting Pluto's moons and moondust

Emily Lakdawalla • February 19, 2014 • 2

Why didn't we discover Pluto's moons until more than a decade after Hubble launched? Mark Showalter helps me answer this question.

Intro Astronomy Class 1: Tour of the Solar System

Bruce Betts • February 11, 2014 • 1

Take a tour of the Solar System in the video of class 1 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

New Horizons: Updates From the Science Team Meeting, Part 1

Ted Stryk • January 23, 2014 • 1

Ted Stryk reports on the status of the New Horizons mission from the mission's latest Science Team Meeting.

Snow balls in space

Mike Brown • December 29, 2013 • 4

I don’t get much snow in southern California, but I do spend a lot of my time thinking about college snowball experiences and about the snowball fights that have made the objects of the outer solar system.

Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2013 • 2

Just four months ago I posted about a paper recently published by Leslie Young and coauthors that described three possible scenarios for Pluto's atmosphere. Yesterday, Cathy Olkin, Leslie Young, and coauthors posted a preprint on arXiv that says that only one of those scenarios can be true. And it's a surprising one. The title of their paper says it all: "Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse."

Pluto on the Eve of Exploration by New Horizons: Is there an ocean, or not?

Emily Lakdawalla • August 02, 2013 • 5

Does Pluto have an ocean under its ice? If it doesn't now, did it ever have one? How will we know?

Pluto on the Eve of Exploration by New Horizons: A problem of cartography

Emily Lakdawalla • July 30, 2013 • 6

Last Thursday at the Pluto Science Conference there was a surprising and interesting talk by Amanda Zangari, who pointed out a serious problem with Pluto cartography.

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