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

Where We Are on 1 April 2019

Emily Lakdawalla takes us on a tour of the spacecraft currently exploring from within our solar system. All planets and spacecraft locations are shown at their location for April 1st, 2019.

DPS/EPSC update: 2007 OR10 has a moon!

The third-largest object known beyond Neptune, 2007 OR10, has a moon. The discovery was reported in a poster by Gábor Marton, Csaba Kiss, and Thomas Mueller at the joint meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society (DPS/EPSC) on Monday.

A Moon for Makemake

The solar system beyond Neptune is full of worlds hosting moons. Now we know that the dwarf planet Makemake has one of its very own.

A moon with atmosphere

What is the solar system moon with the densest atmosphere? Most space fans know that the answer is Titan. A few of you might know that Triton's is the next densest. But what's the third? Fourth? Do any other moons even have atmospheres? In fact, they do; and one such atmosphere has just been discovered.

An internal ocean on Ganymede: Hooray for consistency with previous results!

A newly published paper confirms a subsurface ocean at Ganymede. An ocean there was already suspected from its magnetic field and predicted by geophysics; new Hubble data confirms it, and even says it is in the same place we thought it was before. Such consistency is rare enough in planetary science to be worth celebration.

Mars Orbiter Mission delivers on promise of global views of Mars

Ever since I first learned about the capabilities of Mars Orbiter Mission's small payload of science instruments, I have been anticipating one type of data in particular: global color views of Mars captured in a single 2000-pixel-square frame. Just days after entering orbit, Mars Orbiter Mission has delivered on that promise.

Super-close supernova in M82

The astronomy world is all a-twitter this morning over the discovery of a new supernova in M82, a galaxy that's in our astronomical backyard,

Snow balls in space

I don’t get much snow in southern California, but I do spend a lot of my time thinking about college snowball experiences and about the snowball fights that have made the objects of the outer solar system.

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