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

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.

Pretty Cassini pictures: animation of Iapetus' north pole, and other fun

Now that Cassini has returned to Saturn's equatorial plane, it has lots of opportunities to observe Saturn's moons. For about a week, Cassini has been taking regular sets of images of Iapetus, which I've assembled into an animation.

At last, Ceres is a geological world

I've been resisting all urges to speculate on what kinds of geological features are present on Ceres, until now. Finally, Dawn has gotten close enough that the pictures it has returned show geology: bright spots, flat-floored craters, and enigmatic grooves.

Cassini begins a year of icy moon encounters with a flyby of Rhea

At last! Cassini is orbiting in Saturn's ring plane again. I do enjoy the dramatic photographs of Saturn's open ring system that Cassini can get from an inclined orbit, and we won't be getting those again for another year. But with an orbit close to the ring plane, Cassini can repeatedly encounter Saturn's icy moons, and icy moon flybys are my favorite thing about the Cassini mission.

45th Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium Report

The 45th Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium, usually focused on terrestrial studies, shifted this year to planetary science. Ted Stryk gives us an overview.

Scale comparisons of the solar system's major moons

A few presentation slides with pretty pictures, sized to scale, of the large moons of the solar system.

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.

Pretty pictures: Dancing moons

Since Cassini currently orbits Saturn within the plane of Saturn's rings, it has lots of chances to catch two or more moons in the same photo. One such

Scale solar system presentation slide, a provisional version for you to review

I'm preparing a talk for the Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show here in Pasadena on Sunday afternoon at 1:45. I have spent the morning putting together a slide that I have long wanted to have for presentations.

Pretty picture: five moons for Cassini

Explaining how to combine the red, green and blue images from a recent Cassini image session containing five of Saturn's moons: Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and Rhea.

Cassini animations: Rhea and Dione and Titan

I've been mucking about in the Cassini data archives (as I often do when procrastinating) and unearthed a neat, if short, mutual event sequence of two crescent moons passing by each other.

LPSC 2011: Day 4: Ted Stryk on icy moons and The Moon

Here are Ted Stryk's notes from the sessions he attended in the afternoon of Thursday, March 10, at the 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Goodies from the January 11 Rhea flyby

Cassini got some incredibly tricky shots during its January 11 Rhea flyby!

Door 21 in the 2010 advent calendar

Time to open the twenty-first door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this rumpled blanket?

New names for Rhea

I learned today from Jason Perry that 42 new crater names have been approved by the International Astronomical Union for Rhea, the second largest of Saturn's moons.

A feast of pretty pictures from Cassini

Cassini has it almost too easy. Point at anything in the Saturn system and you're guaranteed of a shot that looks, at least, pretty.

Pretty picture: Rhea, rings, and two little moons

Here's a lovely picture whose components came down from Cassini a few days ago.

Highlights from the January 1, 2010 Cassini imaging data release

The January 1, 2010 Cassini imaging data release includes everything acquired by Cassini from January 1 to March 30, 2009 in all its high-quality glory.

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 29: Rhea

Rhea? You might be asking. Rhea? When Saturn has so many more interesting moons? Hear me out.

Awesome Cassini mutual event movies

I love posting animations of Cassini images that I compose from frames grabbed from the mission's raw images website, but they are shoddy compared to the versions that eventually come out from the mission's imaging team.

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