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28 July 2008

Adding a little Cassini flavor

As Ryan will be out doing field work in Hawaii for the next few weeks, and I’ll be in the Windy City at a little concert called Lollapalooza (woohoo!), we’ve invited a guest author onto the blog. So look for posts from Rebecca Harbison, a fellow Cornell grad student who studies the rings of Saturn with data from Cassini. Welcome to the Martian Chronicles, Rebecca!

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17 July 2008

New insights into ancient water on Mars

The evidence for a warmer, wetter ancient Mars just keeps piling up! In 2 new papers, the team for the CRISM spectrometer onboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has reported new evidence for water on the surface of ancient Mars, based on the ubiquitous presence of water-bearing minerals. Universe Today has a great post up on the findings, so I won’t repeat too much of Nancy’s explanation. In brief, the CRISM

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12 July 2008

iPhone 3G Space and Science Apps

There really are too many cool apps for the new iPhone 3G to list, but here’s a sampling of some awesome scientific apps from Wired – check out the space section! My favorite is Star Map, which acts as a “pocket planetarium” by using the GPS feature of the phone to give you all the info on the night sky over your head! Now if only the data plan wasn’t …

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4 July 2008

Happy 4th!

A little patriotism from Phoenix: And, from the edge of human exploration: It’s the USA’s spirit of exploration and innovation that has gotten us to these distant places, and let’s keep that spirit alive in the years to come!

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3 July 2008

What shape is the solar system?

A cool bit of news from beyond Mars this week: Voyager 2 has relayed new info on the shape of the solar system! New data from the spacecraft, published yesterday in Nature, indicates that Voyager 2 passed through the termination shock in the heliosphere back in August/September of last year. Without the jargon, that means that Voyager 2 reached the location where the solar wind goes from super-sonic to sub-sonic, …

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Phoenix update: More ice, newer panorama

Emily over at the Planetary Society has a fantastic update on Phoenix. Highlights include: * Phoenix has been scraping away at the icy-soil layer at the Snow White trench, and has begun sampling the soil-ice interface. The team was hoping to deliver a sample of this to TEGA, but concerns about the potential for short-cicuiting in TEGA have slowed down progress on this, and we probably won’t see ice samples …

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26 June 2008

Does martian soil contain evidence for rain?

There’s a news story floating around on the net about a new study on soil at the Viking, Pathfinder, and MER landing sites that’s coming out later this month. The study, by UC Berkeley prof Ronald Amundson and his team of terrestrial geologists, suggests that the chemical profiles in the soils at the landing sites may have been the result of precipitation (i.e. water rain). Trench at Meridiani (Unmanned Spaceflight) …

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Phoenix landing site panorama – almost done!

One of the goals of the Phoenix mission is to create a full color panorama of the landing site, and the team is well on their way to completing it! Emily over at the Planetary Society has put together what’s available so far, and has created this beautiful mosaic (image links to full res): As Emily mentions, the team still has to fill in the area immediately around the lander, …

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25 June 2008

Eureka! Science News: Google News for Science

A Canadian scientist has recently launched a news aggregator for basic science. A news aggregator is a service that automatically collects headlines and blurbs from other sites, without creating any original content – like Google News, AOL News, and Yahoo News. Eureka! Science News provides science news in several categories, including astronomy! So far, I’m pretty impressed with the site, especially the Astronomy/Space section, which provides news as well as …

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24 June 2008

Phoenix hilarity

My old thesis title: “Composition and morphology of aeolian deposits in the north polar region of Mars and implications for sediment transport.” My new thesis title: “Why the #$%#& are there polar bears at the north pole of Mars?”

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