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Mars' chemical history: Phyllosian, Theiikian, Siderikian, oh my

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2013 • 4

I'm returning to the deep dive into the literature that began with articles about lunar basins and then explored the geologic time scales of Earth, Moon, and Mars. Now it's time to catch up to the last decade of Mars research and learn what "phyllosian", "theiikian", and "siderikian" eras are.

Comet ISON live blog

Emily Lakdawalla and Bruce Betts • December 05, 2013 • 10

Comet ISON reached perihelion at 18:25 UT (10:25 PT) on November 28. It's an event that's was watched around the world, accompanied by tons of commentary and streams of photos. We will update this blog entry periodically with links to all the resources that we hear of for following the comet's progress.

What's Going on With Planetary Science Research?

Casey Dreier • December 04, 2013 • 5

Budget cuts mixed with a new way to fund science could disproportionately impact the next generation of planetary scientists.

Planetary Dirt Sampling Success

Bruce Betts • December 04, 2013 • 3

We present an update and a video about the successful design, construction, and testing in a vacuum chamber by Honeybee Robotics of a prototype PlanetVac system, a new planetary surface sampling technique, sponsored by The Planetary Society. PlanetVac is a reliable system that effectively vacuums up planetary surface materials.

Pretty picture: newly processed high-res view of a fractured icy moon, Dione

Emily Lakdawalla • December 04, 2013 • 4

Here's a lovely new view of Dione, one of the lovely mid-sized icy moons of Saturn, assembled by Daniel Macháček.

Don't Miss Voyager Head Scientist Ed Stone on the Colbert Report

Casey Dreier • December 04, 2013

Voyager Chief Scientist Ed Stone was the featured guest on the Colbert Report to celebrate the spacecraft's entry into interstellar space.

SpaceX’s Upgraded Falcon Delivers Satellite to Geostationary Orbit

Jason Davis • December 03, 2013 • 4

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket delivered a communications satellite to geostationary orbit, marking an important milestone for the private spaceflight company.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Ascends Murray Ridge into Clay Mineral Grounds

A.J.S. Rayl • December 03, 2013 • 1

Although winter took hold at Endeavour Crater in November, Opportunity pressed on, climbing up Murray Ridge and driving into a clay mineral hunting ground as the Mars Exploration Rovers mission cruised another month closer to celebrating its 10th Earth year of surface operations with myriad events throughout January 2014.

Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 7: The Backbone of Night

Casey Dreier • December 03, 2013 • 3

We return to the big idea of the series – that the universe can be known and we better ourselves in our efforts to understand it – in the best episode of Cosmos so far.

Multiple views of comet ISON from solar-observing spacecraft

Emily Lakdawalla • December 02, 2013 • 6

When comet ISON passed through perihelion last week, solar observing spacecraft had a ringside view. Here are several animations of ISON's perilous passage from the SOHO and two STEREO spacecraft.

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