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

New Gems from the Moon

More than seven years after the end of its mission, JAXA has released the entire data set from Kaguya's HDTV cameras.

Pluto and Charon spin among the stars

I've spent a happy couple of days playing with raw data downloaded from the New Horizons website, making animations of the dances of Pluto and Charon.

An enigmatic line across Pluto: Plutonian canali!?

Pluto and Charon are growing larger in New Horizons' forward view, beginning to develop distinct personalities. A version of recent New Horizons photos processed by Björn Jónsson reveals an enigmatic dark line. Our maps of Pluto's surface are now as good as our maps of Mars and Venus, circa 1900!

A (very) few more details on Pluto

Last week the New Horizons mission released a few new processed versions of their latest and greatest images of Pluto. They're the best images of Pluto that Earth has ever seen, but they're still a long way from what New Horizons will be able to show us, six weeks from now.

Phobos over Mars

Today the Mars Orbiter Mission released a nice four-image animation of teeny dark Phobos crossing Mars' huge orange disk. Mars Orbiter Mission joins a long line of Mars missions that have produced images of Mars and Phobos together.

Another Pale Blue Dot — Uranus Spied By Cassini

The Cassini mission has already returned an array of images of other solar system members from Saturn orbit: Earth (and the Moon), Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. It’s time to add another world to that list!

Pretty Picture: Three Wanderers

With all the excitement happening on missions criscrossing the solar system, I often forget to enjoy the views of our solar system that we can achieve from home. Amateur astronomers don't make the same mistake. Here's a lovely photo that Stuart Atkinson sent me, captured last night from Kendal, England, showing four special wanderers.

The "Starship Century" Beckons

The Benford brothers provide inspiration and hard fact in their excellent new anthology about interstellar travel.

Terra Cognita

Pushing back the frontier, and filling in the blank spaces on the map.

Favorite space images: "Many Worlds"

For this evening's Planetary Radio Live event, Mat Kaplan asked me to do a presentation of some favorite space images. I told him that picking favorite space images is like picking favorite children; it's not possible because they're all my favorite. To narrow things down, I decided to explore a theme:

Pretty picture: Neptune and Triton

On a lonely evening, what is one to do but to dip into archival space image data and surface with a gorgeous photo of a crescent Neptune and Triton?

Chang'e 2: The Full Story

An update on China's second lunar orbiter, Chang'e 2, which is now heading for asteroid Toutatis.

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