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

Ten years after the Huygens landing: The story of its images

The landing of Huygens on Titan was a significant moment for planetary science and a great accomplishment for Europe. But the Huygens landing also stimulated the development of the international community of amateur image processors that does such great work with space images today. I was in the midst of it all at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt.

Cassini's awesomeness fully funded through mission's dramatic end in 2017

Last year, rumors swirled that NASA may be so pinched for dollars that the agency might end the Cassini mission early. Today, Cassini received the welcome news that it has formally been funded through the planned end of its extended-extended mission in 2017. A huge congratulations to the Cassini mission!

Discovery Missions for an Icy Moon with Active Plumes

In December, scientists announced the discovery of possible plumes of water being ejected from Jupiters’s moon Europa. If confirmed, Europa would be the second moon with confirmed plumes after Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Two Discovery mission proposals for Enceladus suggest the types of missions that may be proposed for Europa.

Titan's lakes: The basics

Since Seth MacFarlane tweeted that this weekend's episode of Cosmos was going to include a segment on lakes on Titan, I thought I'd write a post explaining the basics of Titan lakes.

Polar vortices across the solar system

Earth's polar vortex has been in the American news all week. But we're not the only planet that has one; basically every world that has an atmosphere has a polar vortex. Here are lots of pretty pictures and animations of polar vortices.

America's Pastime: Planetary Science

Apologies to baseball fans and others for the theme of this week's Planetary Radio preview, which has star player Emily Lakdawalla on deck.

DPS 2013: Tidbits from Titan

I attended a few talks at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting today that concerned Titan's origin and interesting surface, and then one in the afternoon about the atmosphere.

Probing Titan's Atmosphere

By now I hope that everyone has seen some of the spectacular images of the Saturn system (and especially Titan!) from the Cassini-Huygens mission. However, the measurements that often make my heart race are taken by instruments that reveal Titan in ways that our eyes cannot see.

Terra Cognita

Pushing back the frontier, and filling in the blank spaces on the map.

Dunes on Tatooine

The fictional world Tatooine, scene of action in the Star Wars movies, is named after a town in Tunisia, where parts of the movies were filmed. The desert backdrops against which the movies were filmed are real terrestrial landscapes, which prove to be perhaps unexpectedly dynamic.

One Ocean World Among Many

I'm absolutely floored when I stop to think that our beautiful blue ocean is only one of perhaps a half dozen or more oceans on other worlds in our solar system, and only one of probably millions (or more) oceans on other Earth-like planets in our galaxy. Oceans abound!

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Space is vast. There's a lot of exploring to do.

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