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

Explore spinnable Saturn and Jupiter moons with Google Maps

Google Maps released several new map products that allow you to see the locations of named features on many solar system planets and non-planets, spinning them around in space with your mouse.

Voyager 40th anniversary: The transformation of the solar system

The Voyager missions transformed most of the large worlds of the solar system from points of light into places to be explored.

Ceres Gets Real; Pluto Lurks

Although we are still along way from understanding this fascinating little body, Ceres is finally becoming a real planet with recognizable features! And that's kinda cool.

45th Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium Report

The 45th Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium, usually focused on terrestrial studies, shifted this year to planetary science. Ted Stryk gives us an overview.

Pretty picture: newly processed high-res view of a fractured icy moon, Dione

Here's a lovely new view of Dione, one of the lovely mid-sized icy moons of Saturn, assembled by Daniel Macháček.

Scale comparisons of the solar system's major moons

A few presentation slides with pretty pictures, sized to scale, of the large moons of the solar system.

A huge color global view of Dione

From the Cassini data archives comes a huge (5000 pixels square!) color image of Saturn's icy moon Dione, worth investigating from both near and far.

Happy Cassini PDS Release Day!

It's a quarterly feast day for me: the day that the Cassini mission delivers three months' worth of data to NASA's Planetary Data System. Here's a few images processed from the October 1, 2012 data release.

Pretty pictures from Cassini's 1 May 2012 Dione flyby

Cassini performed its last of three close encounters with Enceladus for 2012 two days ago, and followed the flyby with some spectacular images of Dione.

Pretty pictures from Cassini's 12 December 2011 Dione flyby

Cassini flew close by Dione on December 12 and, as usual, the close pass provided opportunities for lots of dramatic photos, not just of Dione, but of other moons wandering by in the background.

Pretty picture: Mimas scuttles behind Dione

Images from the Cassini spacecraft's flyby of Dione.

Pretty pictures: Dancing moons

Since Cassini currently orbits Saturn within the plane of Saturn's rings, it has lots of chances to catch two or more moons in the same photo. One such

Tethys and Dione don't seem to be active after all

About four years ago I wrote a blog entry about an ESA press release about paper published in Nature that suggested that Saturn's moons Tethys and Dione might have volcanic activity, like Enceladus. A new paper published in Icarus casts doubt on that conclusion.

Scale solar system presentation slide, a provisional version for you to review

I'm preparing a talk for the Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show here in Pasadena on Sunday afternoon at 1:45. I have spent the morning putting together a slide that I have long wanted to have for presentations.

Cassini animations: Rhea and Dione and Titan

I've been mucking about in the Cassini data archives (as I often do when procrastinating) and unearthed a neat, if short, mutual event sequence of two crescent moons passing by each other.

Color versions of the recent Titan & moon beauty shots

Last week I got very excited about a set of pictures that had appeared on Cassini's raw images website, but was sad that I couldn't make color versions myself. I was so excited that I failed to identify the little icy moon in the picture correctly.

Tantalizing photos of Titan, Dione, Tethys, and Saturn

It figures. I just start a three-week trip, with my only computer a diminutive Netbook, and guess what's just been radioed across the 1.3 billion kilometers separating us and Saturn? A set of photos that should become -- when properly processed -- an iconic image from Cassini's fourteen-year mission to the Saturn system.

Lots of great stuff in the latest Cassini data release

I've got some lovely pictures from Saturn to show you! Every three months, the Cassini mission dumps gigabytes worth of precious Saturn data into the Planetary Data System, and the latest gift came on April 1. This particular pile of data, which was taken between April 1 and June 30, 2010, contains a lot of really terrific moon observations.

LPSC 2011: Day 4: Ted Stryk on icy moons and The Moon

Here are Ted Stryk's notes from the sessions he attended in the afternoon of Thursday, March 10, at the 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Two fine color Cassini animations: Prometheus rotating, Tethys and Dione dancing

Daniel Macháček has reached into the dark side of Prometheus and pulled out an incredible amount of detail where the potato-shaped moon is illuminated by Saturnshine. He produced an animation that morphs among the three sets of four-filter color images that Cassini snapped during the flyby.

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