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3 January 2011

AGU 2010 – Days 3 and 4: Exoplanets, Impact Basins and Alteration

Now that it’s a New Year, it’s time I wrapped up my AGU 2010 recaps. This post covers Wednesday and Thursday, with lots of good stuff about super-earth exoplanets, impacts on the Moon and Mars, and lasers on Venus!

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8 December 2010

Akatsuki and Arsenic and AGU

Hi folks. Sorry for the lack of activity here lately. The AGU is throwing a little get-together next week, which means I have been working on overdrive to finish a paper before putting together my poster. In the meantime, the plot has thickened for the “arsenic life” story from last week. It is looking more and more like the results of the study were not as revolutionary as they claimed, …

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1 December 2010

Phobos on the Limb

I love pictures of a planet’s limb (jargon for the horizon of a planet seen from space). In the typical overhead views of planets that we get most of the time, it’s easy to forget that we’re looking at another planet from outer space. On the other hand, when you can see the terrain stretching off into the distance, and the darkness of space above it, it somehow seems more …

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17 November 2010

Hayabusa Returns First Asteroid Sample

Earlier this week, the Japanese space agency (JAXA) announced that the sample container from the Hayabusa probe that returned to earth in June did indeed contain dust grains from the asteroid Itokawa. This makes Hayabusa the first sample return from the surface of an object beyond the moon, and is a great success for JAXA after a mission plagued with problems.

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