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

Crowdsourcing the Andromeda Galaxy

Scientists would like your help starting at high-resolution images of the Andromeda Galaxy captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

New spots on Uranus

New Hubble photos show that Uranus has both dark and bright spots!

Salacia: As big as Ceres, but much farther away

A newly published paper shows trans-Neptunian object Salacia to be unexpectedly large; it's somewhere around the tenth largest known thing beyond Neptune. It has a companion one-third its size, making it appear similar to Orcus and Vanth.

More Venus transits in 2012

A transit of Venus as seen from Jupiter may be observed by Hubble on September 20 and a transit of Venus as seen from Saturn will be observed by Cassini on December 21.

NRO gives NASA two hand-me-down telescopes

The National Reconnaissance Office has donated two, partially-completed space telescopes to NASA, revealed at a National Academies' Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics meeting this week.

Looking down on a shooting star

This photo is making the rounds of Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and whatever other social network you care to name today. It was shot by astronaut Ron Garan from the Space Station, and it's a meteor seen from above. Way cool.

A fourth moon for Pluto

That's right: Hubble observations have yielded the discovery of a third small body orbiting Pluto and Charon.

The scale of our solar system has taken advantage of the infinitely scrollable nature of Web pages to produce a really cool infographic on the scales of orbital distances in the solar system.

So far, no moons found at Ceres or Vesta

Since the Galileo mission discovered tiny Dactyl circling Ida in 1993, quite a lot of asteroid systems have been found to be binary; there are even a few triples. So it's quite reasonable to guess that two of the biggest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta, might also have satellites.

Saturn's storm: A quick turnaround from Hubble

Saturn's raging northern storm has been watched since it began by amateur astronomers, and now Cassini is getting in to the act too. Presumably once astronomers realized the magnitude of what was going on, some of Earth's great observatories were also occasionally pointed at the ringed planet to watch the storm grow.

Orcus and Vanth

As part of a big, ongoing project to make a comparison chart of the dimensions and physical properties of solar system objects I've spent the morning tackling the difficult problem of summarizing the physical characteristics of the biggest things that are out there beyond Neptune.

Happy 2011, and an end to the 2010 advent calendar

Welcome 2011! I can't wait for what this year has in store. The prize for all of you who have enjoyed opening each door in the Planetary Society's 2010 advent calendar is one of the best views we can get of one of the biggest objects in the asteroid belt, Vesta.

Seeing Curiosity

I've been itching to get back to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to get a good look at Curiosity, the next Mars rover.

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