Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Europa remains a top priority for a future mission to explore whether it could host life. While the Europa Clipper mission, remains the current front runner, a senior NASA manager has suggested that the agency may look at still lower cost options. Van Kane looks at what those options might be.
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.
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.
A few presentation slides with pretty pictures, sized to scale, of the large moons of the solar system.
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.
A recently launched Earth-observing satellite is using the stars to practice its pointing, and caught a neat animation of Jupiter.
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.
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.
A fresh report was published online yesterday in Science Express on the discovery of a magma ocean beneath the surface of Io. Big news! This is a paper I've been looking forward to seeing for more than year and half.
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.
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.
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.
Time to open the twelfth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this trapezoidal mountain?
Rosaly Lopes relates her time at a workshop in Piton.
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
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.
Yesterday I asked for suggestions for topics to write about, and you readers seem to have volcanoes on your minds!
Jason Perry just posted this lovely labeled image of Io over at his blog, the Gish Bar Times.
Although I am not suffering under the
It was 400 years ago today that Galileo discovered smaller planets attending the planet Jupiter.