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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

A moon with atmosphere

What is the solar system moon with the densest atmosphere? Most space fans know that the answer is Titan. A few of you might know that Triton's is the next densest. But what's the third? Fourth? Do any other moons even have atmospheres? In fact, they do; and one such atmosphere has just been discovered.

An internal ocean on Ganymede: Hooray for consistency with previous results!

A newly published paper confirms a subsurface ocean at Ganymede. An ocean there was already suspected from its magnetic field and predicted by geophysics; new Hubble data confirms it, and even says it is in the same place we thought it was before. Such consistency is rare enough in planetary science to be worth celebration.

Mars Orbiter Mission delivers on promise of global views of Mars

Ever since I first learned about the capabilities of Mars Orbiter Mission's small payload of science instruments, I have been anticipating one type of data in particular: global color views of Mars captured in a single 2000-pixel-square frame. Just days after entering orbit, Mars Orbiter Mission has delivered on that promise.

Super-close supernova in M82

The astronomy world is all a-twitter this morning over the discovery of a new supernova in M82, a galaxy that's in our astronomical backyard,

Snow balls in space

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.

Destination: Europa!

It's time to reassess Europa exploration, past, present and future. The Destination Europa! session at AGU, inspired by the eponymous website and movement, didn't take exactly that message as its theme, but it's what I got from the presentations. What an ELECTRIFYING meeting this has been for Europa exploration!

The Plumes of Europa

2013 has been a rather exciting year for Europa scientists. Today's exciting news: the Hubble Space Telescope discovery of water vapor plumes from the south pole of this icy moon.

Neptune: The new amateur boundary?

Can features on Neptune be observed by amateur astronomers? For years, the Hubble Space Telescope and some professional terrestrial observatories have been revealing incomplete belts and spots on the surface of Neptune. Now, spots have been imaged by amateurs.

Uranus Awaits

It’s been a long time since anyone paid Uranus a visit. The Uranus system is, however, fascinating, as evidenced by the wealth of topics covered by the diverse group of planetary scientists who gathered to discuss it last week at the Paris Observatory.

Lesser-known views of Uranus and Neptune

Despite the fact that Voyager 2 returned relatively few high-resolution images from either Uranus or Neptune, there are many more photos in the archives than regularly make it to public view.

Astronomy Enters a New Era

A live conversation about just a few of the powerful new instruments that will revolutionize our knowledge of the cosmos once again.

Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: The Ice Giants, with Heidi Hammel

My guest this was Planetary Society Board vice president Heidi Hammel. We discussed two planets near and dear to our hearts, Neptune and Uranus. What's new on these icy worlds since Voyager 2 passed by, and what are the prospects for their future exploration?

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