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

Solar System History 101

How did our solar system come to be? Why are the planets, asteroids, comets, and other small worlds where they are now?

Fun With a New Data Set: The OSIRIS-REx Earth Flyby

The OSIRIS-REx team recently issued their first data release to the Planetary Data System. This release doesn’t include any closeup pictures of asteroid Bennu, but it does include all the pictures they took during their September 2017 Earth flyby.

NASA Then & Now

A collection of before and after slider images showing how views of planets in our solar system have changed over the years since NASA was created.

Favorite Astro Plots: The Pyroxene Quadrilateral

Petrology is a field of science in which scientists study the compositions of rocks and minerals and interpret their geologic history. A common graph petrologists use is the “pyroxene quadrilateral.” These graphs, like photos of space, can reveal an understanding of the remotest parts of the solar system.

Big news from the magnetosphere

At five years and counting, the Van Allen Probes mission continues to reshape our thinking about how Earth’s radiation belts flex and reconfigure under the influence of solar storms.

Go for GOLD, SES-14!

While we can measure properties of these upper layers using ground-based instruments, satellite-borne remote sensing instruments can give us a more frequent, global, and often higher spatial resolution perspective. And that is precisely what NASA’s Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission will deliver.

Earth flyby tests OSIRIS-REx's cameras

As expected, OSIRIS-REx's Earth flyby on September 22 was a success. The mission is slowly releasing beautiful images of our home worlds taken by its many cameras following the flyby.

OSIRIS-REx Earth flyby: What to Expect

OSIRIS-REx launched on September 8, 2016. Now, a year later, it's returning to its home to get a second boost on to its destination, the asteroid Bennu. It'll test all its cameras on Earth and the Moon in the 10 days after the flyby.

Voyager 40th anniversary: Reflecting on the pale blue dot

Today is the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 1. Four decades later, both spacecraft survive, still producing science, still working on their interstellar missions. On the occasion of the anniversary, we revisit Carl Sagan's reflections on the significance of the Voyager missions.

Chasing the total solar eclipse at 38,000 feet

Where did you venture to view the Great American Eclipse? About 100 people were lucky enough to make the trip of a lifetime for it: 38,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, courtesy of Alaska Airlines.

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Space is vast. There's a lot of exploring to do.

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