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Some notes from the first day of the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting on Mercury.
We have new pictures from planet one.
Pushing back the frontier, and filling in the blank spaces on the map.
You can be part of a planetwide group photo as Cassini and MESSENGER turn their cameras Earthward on July 19.
There's a cool new way to explore the first planet.
Nothing reflects the romance of deep space exploration more than the evocative names of places on the planets and moons.
They look so similar they can be hard to tell apart, but each hides its own mysteries.
Note the special time! In this week's Planetary Society hangout at 5pm PDT / midnight UTC, I'll talk with MESSENGER deputy principal investigator Larry Nittler about what MESSENGER has accomplished in its prime and extended missions at Mercury, and what it stands to do if awarded a mission extension.
Dispatches from five different worlds--all sent by robotic spacecraft on the same day.
The case for water ice hidden in permanently shadowed regions at the north pole of the planet Mercury received another boost recently. On Wednesday March 20, 2013 at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Nancy Chabot presented the very first visible-light images of what is in the shadows of these polar craters.
Before yesterday, my answer to this question would be
Some lovely, rarely-seen images from the MESSENGER mission.
Last week the GRAIL mission published their first scientific results, and what they have found will send many geophysicists back to the drawing board to explain how the Moon formed and why it looks the way it does now. To explain how, I'm going to have to back way up, and explain the basic science behind gravity data.
Water ice at Mercury's poles? That's crazy, right? The MESSENGER team has made a very good case that radar-bright material seen by the Arecibo telescope is, in fact, water ice, covered in most places by a veneer of dark organic material.
The MESSENGER mission just issued a press release announcing that they have completed the first step in the two-step process of lowering the spacecraft's orbit around Mercury.
Water ice at Mercury's poles? That's crazy, right? Mercury is so close to the Sun that it seems inconceivable that you could have water ice there. But Mercury's rotational axis has virtually no tilt (MESSENGER has measured its tilt to be less than 1 degree), so there are areas at Mercury's poles, most often (but not always) within polar craters, where the Sun never rises above the horizon to heat the surface.
Today I largely spent in the MESSENGER sessions. They have a lot of data to talk about.
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.
There was a press briefing today giving some early science results from MESSENGER and it was surprisingly meaty. I'm going to focus on just one set of the results that they presented.
What can you expect to see if you look at the night sky this summer (2011)?
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