Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
LPSC 2013: License to Chill (or, the solar system's icy moons)
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.
Instruments for the JUICE Jovian Mission
The European Space Agency (ESA) announced the list of instruments selected for its JUICE mission to explore the Jovian system for three years starting in the 2030 following a 2022 launch.
Checking up on Jupiter and Saturn
It's amateur astronomers, not professionals, who are shouldering the burden of constant monitoring of the weather on Jupiter and Saturn. What's going on these days in the outer solar system?
Book Review: Atlas of the Galilean Satellites, by Paul Schenk
Not many subjects remain for which it is possible to assemble everything that we know about it in one book. Even for those subjects for which our knowledge is limited, knowledge seems always to be expanding exponentially. This is not true, however, for the Galilean satellites of Jupiter.
Scale solar system presentation slide, a provisional version for you to review
I'm preparing a talk for the Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show here in Pasadena on Sunday afternoon at 1:45. I have spent the morning putting together a slide that I have long wanted to have for presentations.
Update: Phobos and Jupiter and its moons!
Remember that neat picture and movie of Phobos passing by Jupiter that I posted last week? Several people asked me where Jupiter's moons were, and I just assumed that they weren't visible. I was wrong; Mars Express spotted Jupiter's moons along with the planet and Mars' moon!
Spotting Jupiter's Moons...with a Solar Telescope!?
I was astounded to learn this morning that SOHO can not only see Jupiter, it can actually resolve Jupiter's moons (at least its two outer ones) as points of light separate from their planet!
Mercury: a moon-scale body
As I wait for the MESSENGER Mercury Orbit Insertion webcast to start, I thought I'd fiddle with some images to point out that Mercury is a bridge between the scales of planets and the scales of moons.
LPSC 2011: Kirby Runyon on Mars, the Moon, Hartley 2, and Ganymede
Kirby Runyon, a second-year grad student at Temple University, offered to send me some writeups of selected presentations from last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, and I enthusiastically agreed.
Report from the 2011 New Horizons Science Team Meeting
The annual New Horizons Science Team Meeting was held last week at NASA's Ames Research Center.
Door 3 in the 2010 advent calendar
Time to open the third door in the advent calendar. Until the New Year, I'll be opening a door onto a different landscape from somewhere in the solar system. Where in the solar system is this wispy terrain?
New Horizons images Jupiter again
Three years after New Horizons flew past Jupiter on its way to Pluto, the spacecraft has imaged the giant planet again.
Hubble turns 20
Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. It's hard to believe it's been going strong for so many years.
LPSC: Why Ganymede and Callisto are so different
The first talk I attended at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston was my one icy satellite talk for the day.
Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 24: Ganymede
I think if you polled most space fans about their favorite moons of Jupiter, Ganymede would come in a consistent third behind Europa and Io. It's just not fair.
Four hundred and fourteen years since Galileo
Galileo, the scientist, discovered the Galilean satellites of Jupiter four hundred years ago next month, while Galileo, the mission, arrived at Jupiter to study those moons in situ fourteen years ago Sunday.
New Horizons Jupiter Encounter Timeline
A year after its launch on January 19, 2006, New Horizons is fast closing in on Jupiter, the first target on its near decade-long journey. On February 28 the spacecraft will approach to within 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) of Jupiter before speeding along on to its way to the edge of the solar system.
New Horizons' raw images are now online
I got an email from John Spencer this morning telling me that the mission had posted all of New Horizons' most recently acquired images on the mission website.
LPSC: Thursday: The Moons of Jupiter and the future of Outer Planet Exploration
I said earlier I was going to cover the poster sessions next, and there are some cool things that I want to write about, but I thought I'd better get to something a bit more topical a bit sooner: Europa and the other Galilean satellites, and when (if!?) we'll be exploring them again.