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

NASA’s New Planetary Mission Woes

NASA’s planetary science program depends on regular missions to solar system bodies to gather data. A combination of budget cuts and previous commitments to develop missions currently in the pipeline means that development of follow on missions may slow to a crawl. Van Kane looks at the current situation and NASA’s plans and then look at options the agency may consider if budgets remain tight into the next decade.

Jupiter and Io from Pioneer 10

This is a parting shot of Jupiter and Io, taken December 5, 1973, by the Pioneer 10 spacecraft, the first to see either world as a crescent.

Voyager 1 revisited: Io and Europa transiting Jupiter

What is the highest resolution global Jupiter mosaic that includes a satellite transit that can be assembled from Voyager images? Satellite transits are especially beautiful when the resolution is high enough for some details to be visible on the satellites so I decided to check this. And I was remarkably lucky.

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.

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: Wanted: Pioneer 10 & 11 digital data

This is both a Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) update and a public service announcement. Ted Stryk has been working for years to locate the original Pioneer 10 and 11 image data from the Jupiter and Saturn encounters.

Io and Jupiter from Voyager 1

Here's an image I've been meaning to post for months, a new mosaic from Voyager 1 by Ted Stryk of Io crossing Jupiter's terminator as it neared closest approach.

Exposing Io's true colors

Thanks to its active volcanic activity and sulfur-rich surface, Io is one of the most colorful worlds yet seen in the Solar System, save the Earth of course

Volcanism across the solar system: Io

Three months ago, grandiosely, I announced that I was going to survey volcanism across the solar system, and I began the journey on Earth. Then I failed to follow up.

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