Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Animated maps of the planets show the spheres in motion.
Remembering the Moon's first extreme close-up.
Planetary transits of the Sun by Mercury and Venus don't come along very often, and when they do we make a big deal of it because, well, it's really cool!
If there's one thing I've learned after decades of studying the first human voyages to another world, it's that there is always more to discover about Apollo. Case in point: The Apollo 8 Earthrise photo that became one of the iconic images of the 20th century.
Watch and enjoy this full video of Chang'e 3's descent onto the lunar surface.
Here it is! Animated gifs, composed of screen grabs from Chinese state television, of the Yutu rover rolling on to the lunar surface. This was a replay, but it was no less thrilling for that; the actual rollout happened at 20:40 UT (12:40 PT). Six wheels on soil! Woohoo!
On December 1 at 17:30 UTC, Chang'e 3 launched atop a Long March 3B rocket on a direct lunar transfer trajectory. It is scheduled to enter orbit December 6 and land December 14. The rocket was equipped with cameras that recorded thrilling video of the launch and final departure of the probe.
Comet ISON has entered the field of view of the STEREO HI-1A camera, and, in an awesome animation, it joins a large cast of characters already present there.
I've been delving in to the Mars Express image archive this week, checking out its images of Phobos, and found a couple of really cool time-series of images to assemble into animations.
Curiosity looked up after dark and captured more cool photos of Mars' moons. They include Phobos and Deimos passing in the night, and Phobos entering Mars' shadow.
Yesterday, the Curiosity mission released the video whose potential I got so excited about a couple of weeks ago: the view, from Curiosity, of Phobos transiting Deimos in the Martian sky. In this post, Mark Lemmon answers a bunch of my questions about why they photograph Phobos and Deimos from rovers.
Seasons, sunlight, and shadow at the Moon's north pole
Take a look at this amazing photo, captured by Curiosity from the surface of Mars on sol 351 (August 1, 2013). It is unmistakably Phobos.
There's a cool new way to explore the first planet.
A large asteroid is passing reasonably close to Earth in a few hours, and astronomers at the great radio telescopes at Goldstone and Arecibo are zapping it. The latest discovery: QE2, like many asteroids, is a binary.
A frequently-asked question last week was: if asteroid 2012 DA14 is coming so close to Earth, why hasn't anyone taken any pictures of it? Now that 2012 DA14 has whizzed past us, we do finally have some radar pictures of it, but they still may not satisfy everyone.
When the sunlight catches it just right, Saturn's F Ring is something to see.
Why spend effort and scarce resources on space exploration when we have so many problems here at home? Turns out, there are some pretty good reasons.
Deep Impact has made the first space-based observations of comet ISON.
A recently launched Earth-observing satellite is using the stars to practice its pointing, and caught a neat animation of Jupiter.