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"planet"

NASA's Dawn Mission Captures New Image of Dwarf Planet Ceres

NASA’s Dawn mission, having performed remarkably at the asteroid Vesta, is homing in on Ceres. The spacecraft’s ion engines will bring it to a capture orbit around this 590 mile diameter dwarf planet on March 6th, 2015 – at a distance some 2.5 times further from the Sun than the Earth.

January 20, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf

Exoplanet Size: It’s Elementary

Since quite early in the history of the discovery of planets around other stars it’s been apparent that the likelihood of certain types of planets around a star is related to the abundance of heavy elements in that system.

June 3, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

The Failure of Phobos

A new explanation for the strange grooves on the surface of the martian moon Phobos suggests that the entire satellite already shows signs of how it will eventually be destroyed.

November 12, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf

Did the Solar System Just Gain 2 New Worlds?

A pair of scientific papers suggest that the ALMA observatory may have detected 2 new "planet-scale" objects associated with the outer realms of the solar system. But should we be awed or skeptical?

December 10, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf
Cosmic Solitude, Exoplanets, and Books

Cosmic Solitude, Exoplanets, and Books

Earlier this week I had the very great pleasure of catching up with Lee Billings, the author of Five Billion Years of Solitude, a beautifully written and provocative new book about the quest to find other Earths, other life in the universe.

January 10, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
Mystery of Mars ‘Doughnut’ Rock Solved

Mystery of Mars ‘Doughnut’ Rock Solved

About a month ago an intriguing pair of images from NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars showed a curious rock that had seemingly appeared our of nowhere during the course of 12 days.

February 18, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

6 Reasons New Horizons Rocks

Join me for some icy-sweet geology in the outer solar system, and learn why New Horizons is a great way to spend just under a stadium's worth of money

July 27, 2016 — Dana Hunter

Interstellar Space Can Be Pebbly

We’re used to thinking of the space between the stars as void, bereft of all but the most sparsely distributed atoms and molecules, or the occasional microscopic grain of silicon or carbon dust.

August 29, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Capturing a Portrait of Humanity's Home

Vibrant images of our planet are common now, but it was only 70 years ago when we first caught a glimpse of Earth from a height of more than 100 miles. Watch a history of photographing Earth, from the first captured German rockets to iconic images like Earthrise and the Pale Blue Dot.This video was reproduced with permission and was first published on March 16, 2017. It is a Nature Video production.

March 16, 2017 — Nature Video
Live HD Stream of California Sea Otters in the Wild from Seaotters.com

Live HD Stream of California Sea Otters in the Wild from Seaotters.com

Another great webcam joins the plethora of animal cams! Who can get enough of peeking in on animals as they go about their day? At seaotters.com/live , the world’s first HD live stream of CA sea otters in the wild catches otters at Elkhorn Slough, the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California outside [...]

January 22, 2014 — Joanne Manaster

The Grand Texture of Planets

              In an idle moment, while staring at a set of solar system data, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to display a set of planetary surfaces on an equal footing, where the overall texture of these worlds was visible (although topography is probably a more [...]

March 30, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf