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16 March 2011

LPSC 2011 – Day 1: Cryospheres and Making Moons

Greetings from Texas, loyal readers! As you may have noticed, this year’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference came and went with barely a peep here on the blog. This is because, unlike some members of the planetary science community, I do need to sleep occasionally, and I spent almost all of my time at LPSC either in sessions or working on my never-ending paper. Yeah, remember the one that I …

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20 December 2010

Solstice Eclipse!

Be afraid mortals, for today the heavens align and the moon turns red as blood!

No, really. Tonight is not only the northern winter solstice, when the northern nights are longest since we are tilted away from the sun, but there is also a lunar eclipse tonight! I like lunar eclipses a lot, first of all, because they are much more common and long-lived than solar eclipses, but more importantly, the moon turns red.

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19 December 2010

AGU 2010 – Day 2: Shoemaker Lecture and Icy Moons

My massive summary of the Day 2 AGU planetary sciences talks, starting with the Shoemaker Lecture, and then covering Titan, Enceladus and other icy moons. Hydrocarbon volcanoes and icy geysers and hidden oceans, oh my!

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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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29 July 2010

We Didn't Fake the Moon Landings

But I want to get one of those dramatic glowing tables!

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2 May 2010

Carnival of Space 152

Welcome to The Martian Chronicles and the 152nd edition of the Carnival of Space! As always, we’ve got a great bunch of space-related posts from across the blogosphere, ranging from life on Mars to the age of the universe to Science Ninjas! I’ll get things started with a pair of posts from right here at The Martian Chronicles. A couple weeks ago I went on a cool geology field trip …

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1 February 2010

NASA's New Budget

The internet has been a whirlwind of wailing and gnashing of teeth, interspersed with the occasional optimistic or guarded response, as space advocates respond to Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget request for NASA. In case you haven’t heard, the main points of the FY2011 budget are nicely summarized in this overview document: Increase of $6.0 billion over 5-years (FY 2011-15) compared to the FY 2010 Budget, for a total of …

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20 December 2009

AGU 2009 – Day 3: Venus and the Moon

I’m splitting day 3 into two posts because there were so many interesting sessions. Stay tuned for the second post about astrobiology and society. But for now, Venus and the moon! I started the day off at the Venus session. One of the first talks I heard was by Cedric Gillman about the history of water on Venus. He suggested a very thick primordial H2O atmosphere with a surface pressure …

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17 December 2009

AGU 2009 – Day 2

I started off day 2 of AGU at a couple of lunar talks showing off data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Unfortunately, I missed the early sessions about the high-res cameras, but the bright side was that I learned abount some instruments I was less familiar with. First was the Lunar Orbital Laser Altimeter – LOLA. A similar instrument on Mars Global Surveyor, MOLA, revolutionized our view of Mars. The …

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25 November 2009

Lava Tubes on the Moon!

Ever wonder how astronauts on the moon are going to avoid deadly space radiation? One option is to live in caves, and luckily the Kaguya team has found one! Read more about it in my article over at Universe Today.

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