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Planetary Society Blog

A guide to interesting stuff going on in space science, space exploration, and space advocacy.


DPS/EPSC update on New Horizons at the Pluto system and beyond

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 19:17:55 -0500

Last week's Division for Planetary Sciences/European Planetary Science Congress meeting was chock-full of science from New Horizons at Pluto.

Likely Schiaparelli crash site imaged by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:56:44 -0500

Just a day after the arrival of ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and its lander Schiaparelli, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken a photo of the landing site with its Context Camera, and things do not look good.

Remembering Ewen Whitaker, the "careful and caring" scientist who found Surveyors 1 and 3

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 06:02:56 -0500

Ewen Whitaker was one of the founding members of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, one of the world's first research institutions dedicated to studying the moon and planets.

ExoMars: Schiaparelli Analysis to Continue

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:05:16 -0500

The fate of the ExoMars lander, Schiaparelli, remains uncertain. European Space Agency mission controllers had been optimistic on Wednesday night that a definitive answer would be known by Thursday morning’s news briefing. However, although some more details have been made public about the lander’s descent, it is not yet clear whether it hit the martian surface at a speed it could not survive.

Brief update: Opportunity's attempt to image Schiaparelli unsuccessful

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:35:03 -0500

Today, the Opportunity rover attempted a difficult, never-before-possible feat: to shoot a photo of an arriving Mars lander from the Martian surface. Unfortunately, that attempt seems not to have succeeded. Opportunity has now returned the images from the observation attempt, but Schiaparelli is not visible.

ExoMars: Long day’s journey into uncertainty

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 15:04:49 -0500

Trace Gas Orbit is successfully in orbit at Mars, but the fate of the Schiaparelli lander is uncertain.

Fall Issue of The Planetary Report is Here!

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 14:59:19 -0500

From the innermost planet to the farthest reaches of our Solar System, this issue of The Planetary Report spans it all!

DPS/EPSC update: 2007 OR10 has a moon!

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 11:46:36 -0500

The third-largest object known beyond Neptune, 2007 OR10, has a moon. The discovery was reported in a poster by Gábor Marton, Csaba Kiss, and Thomas Mueller at the joint meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society (DPS/EPSC) on Monday.

Rapidly Rotating Regular Satellites and Tides

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 14:29:28 -0500

Pluto’s small moons have unusual rotation rates and states. Now we know a moon of another dwarf planet does as well. Is there a connection?

Juno to delay planned burn

Sun, 16 Oct 2016 16:28:03 -0500

The Juno mission posted a status report late Friday afternoon, indicating that they will not perform the originally planned period reduction maneuver during their next perijove (closest approach to Jupiter) on October 19. The delay changes the start date of the science mission and also all the future dates of Juno's perijoves.