Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Sights beyond the visible
See images your eyes wouldn’t normally be able to see, and learn about what these images can teach you.
Shoot for the moon that shoots back
Saturn’s moon Enceladus has some intriguing features: snow, ice, geysers, stripes and much more, all waiting to be further explored.
The Quest for Life on Venus
Did scientists detect a signature of life in Venus' clouds? Or will the bombshell finding be proven false?
Venus’ Ocean of Air and Clouds
Javier Peralta plumbs the depths of Venus’ atmosphere through the eyes of the Venus Express and Akatsuki orbiters.
The September Equinox 2019 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!
A new issue of The Planetary Report brings you our pride in the success of LightSail 2 and our gratitude to our members for making it happen. Plus Venus science from Akatsuki and Venus Express, and the status of planetary defense.
A new look at Venus with Akatsuki
Amateur image processor Damia Bouic shares a plethora of stunning new images of Venus captured by a Japanese spacecraft.
What's up in the solar system, August 2016 edition: Juno to get Jupiter close-ups, Rosetta descending, road-tripping rovers
This month we'll finally see JunoCam's first high-resolution images of Jupiter. We'll also see OSIRIS-REx making progress toward its September 8 launch. Both rovers are road-tripping at Mars, while ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has completed a major mid-course correction ahead of its October arrival.
Akatsuki begins a productive science mission at Venus
Japan's Akatsuki Venus orbiter is well into its science mission, and has already produced surprising science results. The mission, originally planned to last two years, could last as many as five, monitoring Venus' atmosphere over the long term.
What's up in the solar system, May 2016 edition: Good news in cruise for Juno and ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter
May 2016 will be yet another month of fairly routine operations across the solar system -- if you can ever use the word
What's up in solar system exploration: April 2016 edition
This month (actually, today), Cassini had a relatively close flyby of Titan, and New Horizons will observe a very distant Kuiper belt object named 1994 JR1. Akatsuki has just fine-tuned its orbit around Venus, and Hayabusa2 has begun an 800-hour ion engine thrusting phase to steer it toward near-Earth asteroid Ryugu.
What's up in solar system exploration: March 2016 edition
Welcome to my monthly inventory of the 20-plus spacecraft actively exploring our solar system. Highlights of this month include the impending launch of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli lander, currently planned for March 14, and the resumption of regular VMC Mars images by Mars Express.
Akatsuki's new orbit, first images, and science plans
JAXA had a press briefing today to confirm the successful arrival of Akatsuki into Venus orbit. It's been a long time coming: today's announcement came twelve years to the day after Japan had to abandon efforts to put Nozomi into Mars orbit. They released lovely images and discussed future plans.
Live from Sagamihara: Akatsuki in Orbit, Day 1
One day after closest approach, Akatsuki is now speeding away from Venus at 4.09 kilometers per second and is 180,000 kilometers from the planet. In his last report from Sagamihara, Sanjay Limaye gets some updates on the new orbiter's trajectory.
Live from Sagamihara: Akatsuki Orbit Insertion Success!
The Akatsuki team achieved something that no mission as done before – put a spacecraft into orbit around a planet using only the attitude control thrusters. An event that one could not even conceive or propose!
Live from Sagamihara: Akatsuki Orbit Insertion - Second Try
Venus researcher Sanjay Limaye reports from the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) in Sagamihara on the status of Akatsuki's second Venus orbit insertion attempt.
Timeline for Akatsuki's second attempt at orbit insertion
This is it: Akatsuki's final chance at Venus orbit insertion. The rocket firing should begin on December 7 at 08:51 Japan time (December 6 23:51 UT / 15:51 PST) and last for 20 minutes. It will take two days for JAXA to determine whether the orbit has been changed enough for Akatsuki to stay at Venus.
Back from the Brink: Akatsuki Returns to Venus
Perhaps forgotten by the general public in the West, a long-lost spacecraft is set to enter orbit around our sister planet in December, picking up where ESA’s Venus Express left off when its operations ended last year.
Two JAXA mission updates: Akatsuki Venus orbit entry and PROCYON Earth flyby coming up!
Akatsuki is finally approaching its second attempt to enter Venus orbit, on December 7; let's all wish JAXA the best of luck! And PROCYON, whose ion engines have failed, is still an otherwise perfectly functional spacecraft that is taking photos of Earth and the Moon as it approaches for a flyby.
What's up in solar system exploration: August 2015 edition
I'm back from two weeks' vacation, so it's time to catch up on the status of all our intrepid planetary missions, from Akatsuki to the Voyagers and hitting the Moon, Mars, asteroids, comets, and Saturn in between.
Two more brief mission updates: Philae makes contact; Akatsuki to perform course correction
As a followup to yesterday's post about Dawn, Juno, and OSIRIS-REx, I have updates on two more missions. With this post, I hope to have cleared the decks so that I can focus on Pluto for the next week!