Mars scientists dubbed them recurring slope lineae or RSLs. They sure looked like evidence of liquid water flowing down hillsides and ridges on the Red Planet. New research led by US Geological Survey Planetary Geologist Colin Dundas says they are probably no more than dry sand and dust. Emily Lakdawalla reports that NASA has narrowed the choices for the next New Frontiers mission to a Titan or a comet lander. And it’s time for the last 2017 What’s Up look around the night sky by Bruce Betts.
- Year-end Gifts in Support of Planetary Radio and The Planetary Society
- Nature Geoscience abstract: “Granular flows at recurring slope lineae on Mars indicate a limited role for liquid water”
- Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
- Colin Dundas at the USGS Astrogeology Center
- Downselect: NASA narrows future mission destination to comet 67P or Titan
- Chop Shop Planetary Society Store
This week's prizes are the Space Magnetic Poetry Kit for your refrigerator door and a 200-point iTelescope.net astronomy account.
This week's question:
What was the last successful Soviet mission to the Moon?
To submit your answer:
Complete the contest entry form at http://planetary.org/radiocontest or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Wednesday, January 3rd at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.
Last week's question:
What two orbiters are part of the European Space Agency’s BepiColombo mission to Mercury?
The answer will be revealed next week.
Question from the week before:
“Cometroid” (not at all an official IAU classification) 3200 Phaeton is responsible for the annual Geminids meteor shower. Who was the mythical Phaeton’s father?
Helios the sun god was Phaethon’s dad in Greek mythology. This got asteroid 3200 Phaethon named after the kid.