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

What kind of asteroid is Ryugu?

What do we already know about Ryugu, and why is it so hard to know what it looks like? Hayabusa2 Mission Manger Makoto Yoshikawa

Radar in Earth and Planetary Science, Part 2

Heather Hunter brings us the next installment in her series on radio detection and ranging.

Radar in Earth and Planetary Science: An Intro

Heather Hunter explains how radar works and what it's used for on Earth and beyond.

Subsurface Water Ice in Utopia Planitia, Mars

Martian radar expert Cassie Stuurman explains how the SHARAD instrument aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was used to detect buried ice deposits.

Meet NASA's Winning Asteroid Redirect Spacecraft, and the Asteroid It May Visit

NASA has decided to pluck a small boulder off a large asteroid, instead of bagging an entire asteroid outright, the agency announced Wednesday.

Green Bank Telescope Helps Out an Old Friend

The Green Bank Telescope has been called into emergency service to play radar ping-pong on a close-by asteroid with Arecibo Observatory’s 100-meter William E. Gordon radio telescope.

Arecibo Observatory operational after repairs to fix earthquake damage

Early in the morning on January 13, 2014, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck beneath the Atlantic Ocean north of Puerto Rico, damaging Arecibo Observatory, the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope. The telescope is now operational after repairs and scientists have resumed observations. However, the future of Arecibo Observatory remains unclear due to funding uncertainties in the federal budget.

A Map of the Evening Star

Beautiful maps of a mysterious place.

Caution: Spacecraft Under Construction

Join Emily Lakdawalla and Mat Kaplan inside JPL's High Bay 1, where two Earth-revealing missions are being readied for launch.

Jani Radebaugh, Titan Explorer

Robotic space exploration is human exploration. Meet one of the people behind the machines.

How radar really works: The steps involved before getting an image

Arecibo Observatory is known for its 1000-foot diameter telescope and its appearances in Goldeneye and Contact. Aside from battling Bond villains and driving red diesel Jeeps around the telescope (grousing at the site director about the funding status of projects is optional), several hundred hours a year of telescope time at Arecibo go toward radar studies of asteroids.

Say "hi!" to asteroid -- actually, asteroids -- (285263) 1998 QE2

A large asteroid is passing reasonably close to Earth in a few hours, and astronomers at the great radio telescopes at Goldstone and Arecibo are zapping it. The latest discovery: QE2, like many asteroids, is a binary.

Why don't we have any photos of asteroid 2012 DA14 if it came so close?

A frequently-asked question last week was: if asteroid 2012 DA14 is coming so close to Earth, why hasn't anyone taken any pictures of it? Now that 2012 DA14 has whizzed past us, we do finally have some radar pictures of it, but they still may not satisfy everyone.

Asteroid 4179 Toutatis' upcoming encounters with Earth and Chang'E 2

Near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis will be passing within 7 million kilometers of Earth on December 12. Both radio telescopes and the Chang'E 2 spacecraft will be acquiring images.

DPS 2012, Tuesday: Titan's surface

Tuesday morning at the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting featured talks on the surface composition and landforms on Titan, including lakes and

Examining India's new RISAT 1 Earth observation satellite

Last week, India launched RISAT 1, a new Earth-observing satellite. How does its synthetic aperture radar compare to that of Envisat, which has fallen silent?

Notes from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference: Making Cassini's radar images prettier

One of the more exciting talks last week was given by Antoine Lucas about his work with Oded Aharonson

More radar images of icy moons from Cassini: Iapetus, Enceladus, and Rhea

When I posted about the really cool Cassini SAR images of Enceladus a few weeks ago, I initially wrote that this was the first-ever SAR image of an icy moon other than Titan. Several people (some readers and two members of the Cassini science team!) corrected that statement: Cassini has performed SAR imaging of other icy moons (including Enceladus) before.

First-ever high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar image of Enceladus

On the November 6, 2011 flyby of Enceladus -- the third such flyby in just a few weeks -- the Cassini mission elected to take a SAR swath instead of using the optical instruments for once. So here it is: the first-ever SAR swath on Enceladus. In fact, the only other places we've ever done SAR imaging are Earth, the Moon, Venus, Iapetus, and Titan.

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