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

Checking up on Jupiter and Saturn

It's amateur astronomers, not professionals, who are shouldering the burden of constant monitoring of the weather on Jupiter and Saturn. What's going on these days in the outer solar system?

Book Review: Atlas of the Galilean Satellites, by Paul Schenk

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.

Is Europa's ice thin or thick? At chaos terrain, it's both!

Among Europa scientists there are two warring factions: the thick-icers and the thin-icers. The question is how thick is the ice shell that overlies Europa's subsurface ocean (the existence of which pretty much everyone agrees on).

Update: Phobos and Jupiter and its moons!

Remember that neat picture and movie of Phobos passing by Jupiter that I posted last week? Several people asked me where Jupiter's moons were, and I just assumed that they weren't visible. I was wrong; Mars Express spotted Jupiter's moons along with the planet and Mars' moon!

Europa on the Ropes

For now, Mars continues to eclipse Jupiter's moon Europa (shown here to scale) in NASA's flagship mission plans, but not in its appeal to many planetary scientists.

Mercury: a moon-scale body

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.

Door 14 in the 2010 advent calendar

Until the New Year, I'll be opening a door each day onto a different landscape from somewhere in the solar system. Where in the solar system are these red freckles?

Pretty picture: Europa and Jupiter

Photos like this always make me think about how unimportant size is in determining whether one of the worlds of the solar system is an exciting place.

Four hundred and fourteen years since Galileo

Galileo, the scientist, discovered the Galilean satellites of Jupiter four hundred years ago next month, while Galileo, the mission, arrived at Jupiter to study those moons in situ fourteen years ago Sunday.

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