Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Rocket flight and the five dwarfs
Meet the Solar System’s five official dwarf planets, celebrate two major launches, and find out why planets sometimes seem to go backwards across the sky.
What does “Mercury in retrograde” actually mean?
"Mercury in retrograde" is one of the most searched terms relating to the planet. Astrological interpretations aside, apparent retrograde motion is an interesting phenomenon that has to do with orbital speeds and observer perspective.
Red hot space
This week’s roundup of space news and exploration inspiration will leave you seeing red (in the best way possible).
The year in pictures: 2022
With JWST up and running, it’s one of our best Year in Pictures issues yet.
Planets are beautiful and fascinating enough on their own, but there’s no denying that moons and rings add a little something special.
Some good old-fashioned space mysteries
Exploration is teaching us a lot about the cosmos, and a lot about how much we still don’t know.
Rocky worlds rock
This week we're all about the rocky planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.
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?
The Next 10 Years
Six scientists share the major planetary science discoveries of the past decade, and the questions that will drive the next 10 years of solar system exploration.
How to follow BepiColombo's launch
I’m thrilled to be anticipating the beginning of a new mission to Mercury. Here's a timeline for BepiColombo's planned launch on 20 October (19 October in the U.S.).
The September Equinox 2018 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!
With my first issue of The Planetary Report as editor, I am taking the magazine open-access. Return to Mercury features articles by Elsa Montagnon on BepiColombo and by Long Xiao on the Chang'e-4 and -5 landers.
Voyage to Mercury
Elsa Montagnon details the challenges of delivering BepiColombo’s two spacecraft from Earth to Mercury.
#Mercury2018: From MESSENGER to BepiColombo and beyond
A Mercury meeting held May 1-3 summarized the current and future science of the innermost planet. Emily Lakdawalla was there and shares her notes.
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.
Back to Mercury! Europe and Japan's BepiColombo mission moves closer to launch
Next year, a pair of probes head to Mercury to answer outstanding questions about our innermost planet, as well as the formation of the solar system.
Planetary discovery over the past quarter century
2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of what has become one of the primary venues for the publication of research in planetary science: the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. This occasion is a good opportunity to look back at what we have learned in this era of expanded exploration and to try to take a peek at the future.
There is one less robot exploring the solar system today. MESSENGER, which has orbited Mercury for four years, finally ran out of fuel and crashed into the planet at 17:26 UT on Thursday, April 30, 2015.
LPSC 2015: MESSENGER's low-altitude campaign at Mercury
At last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, the MESSENGER team held a press briefing to share results from the recent few months of incredibly low-altitude flight over Mercury's surface. The mission will last only about five weeks more.
A Clearer Impression of Degas Crater
MESSENGER is revealing the first planet in sharp detail.
Europa: How Less Can Be More
Van Kane explains three factors that make exploring Europa hard—factors that can make a mission concept that seems like less actually be more.