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

So Close and Yet So Far: Why isn't Siding Spring going to sandblast Mars?

Comet Siding Spring is going to make a very close approach to Mars in October. Any comet dust that reaches Mars has the potential to inflict significant damage on the spacecraft orbiting the planet. As it turns out, however, Mars and its orbiters are likely to see very few, if any, impacts. Why?

Mars orbiters plan for their October encounter with comet Siding Spring

Now that we have reasonable confidence that our Mars orbiters will be safe from the close passage of comet Siding Spring, we are free to be excited about the opportunity that the encounter represents. At a community workshop on August 11, representatives from Mars missions shared their plans for great comet science.

One Day on Mars

A single day's observations take us from orbital overviews all the way down to ground truth.

A Checkup on Future Mars Missions

NASA’s Mars Exploration Analysis Group (MEPAG) recently reviewed plans by Europe, the Japanese, and NASA for future Mars exploration. The prognosis is for another exciting decade of Mars exploration.

My Own Corner of Mars

How I took a high-res photo of an intriguing spot on the Red Planet--and how you can, too.

Pretty pictures of terraced craters on Mars

Check out this unusual crater on Mars. It's not a very big one, less than 500 meters in diameter, and yet it has two rings. Most craters on Mars this size are simple bowl shapes. What's going on here?

New Hills, Old Secrets

Exploring a set of newly named hills on Mars reveals tantalizing clues to the planet's story.

Book Review: This Is Mars

This is Mars is a stunning book that treats the HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as an art photographer, exploring the variety of shapes and patterns created by wind, water, impacts, and gravity on the Martian surface.

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.

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