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

News brief: Voyager 2 has passed beyond the heliopause

Voyager 2 is now outside the reach of the solar wind, traveling in the interstellar medium. Unlike Voyager 1, Voyager 2 has a working plasma spectrometer so will be doing exciting new science. It is expected to last another 5 to 10 years, though not with all instruments operating.

Big news from the magnetosphere

At five years and counting, the Van Allen Probes mission continues to reshape our thinking about how Earth’s radiation belts flex and reconfigure under the influence of solar storms.

Go for GOLD, SES-14!

While we can measure properties of these upper layers using ground-based instruments, satellite-borne remote sensing instruments can give us a more frequent, global, and often higher spatial resolution perspective. And that is precisely what NASA’s Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission will deliver.

Mysterious tides in the Martian atmosphere

Observations made by the Mars Climate Sounder, an instrument aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, have revealed new information about atmospheric tides on the Red Planet.

Solar storm in progress

Last night the Sun unleashed a large coronal mass ejection in our direction. Here is a compilation of images from SOHO's two LASCO cameras, plus a prediction from the new space weather prediction model that I learned about at the American Geophysical Union in December. The storm will arrive at Earth on March 8.

Solar flares from Skylab

Before automated space observatories like SDO could send pictures and videos of solar phenomenon in real-time, humans had to do it manually, as in the case of the groundbreaking Skylab space station missions, which featured the Apollo Telescope Mount.

The state of Earth observation, January 2012

As of November 2011, the Earth Observing Handbook counts 109 active missions to study the Earth as a planet, with 112 more approved and planned for the future. Jason Davis provides an overview of key current and upcoming earth-observing missions.

Space weather affects everyday life on Earth

According to a press release issued this morning by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the enormous solar flare that erupted on December 5 and 6 last year was accompanied by an intense radio burst that caused large numbers of Global Positioning System recivers to stop tracking the signal from the orbiting GPS satellites.

Space is vast. There's a lot of exploring to do.

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