JPL Blog


Planetary Trio Provides a Warm-Up Act for Perseids

Planetary Trio Provides a Warm-Up Act for Perseids
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By Jane Houston Jones Are you eager to see the annual Perseids meteor shower tonight? You’ll have to wait until near midnight to see it, so why not pass the time by viewing Venus, Saturn and Mars right from your doorstep? Step outside for the planetary warm-up act just as soon as the sun sets. […]

Confessions from Comic-Con

Confessions from Comic-Con

Written by Whitney Clavin of JPL’s News Office while attending Comic-Con 2010 in San Diego I’ve been standing in line next to a green monster for more than an hour. This might sound like a bad situation, but the monster is actually a rather nice human in body paint and stunning, neon-green contact lenses. This […]

Rocks and Stars with Amy: Milestones

Rocks and Stars with Amy: Milestones

By Amy Mainzer It’s hard to believe that we’ve just crossed the six-month mark on WISE — seems like just yesterday when we were all up at Vandenberg Air Force Base, near Santa Barbara, shivering in the cold at night while watching the countdown clock. But the time is flying (literally!) as WISE whips by […]

Super Swooper: Cassini wraps up its lowest pass through Titan atmosphere

Super Swooper: Cassini wraps up its lowest pass through Titan atmosphere

Julie Webster On Sunday evening, my eyes were glued to eight windows on my computer screen, watching data pop up every few seconds. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft was making its lowest swing through the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan and I was on the edge of my seat. Trina Ray, a Titan orbiter science team co-chair, […]

Cassini to Swing Low Into Titan’s Atmosphere

Cassini to Swing Low Into Titan’s Atmosphere

César Bertucci This weekend, Cassini will embark on an exciting mission: trying to establish if Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, possesses a magnetic field of its own. This is important for understanding the moon’s interior and geochemical evolution. For Titan scientists, this is one of the most anticipated flybys of the whole mission. We want to […]

Smooth Sailing by Rhea and Helene

Smooth Sailing by Rhea and Helene

Amanda Hendrix Cassini’s closest-ever flyby of Saturn’s moon Rhea went quite smoothly and teams are busy checking out their data! These flybys never fail to amaze me. And the raw images — which give us an unprocessed first look — are really cool! Raw image N00152150 gives us a view of part of the bright, […]

Road-Tripping to Rhea with Cassini

Road-Tripping to Rhea with Cassini

Amanda Hendrix Here in Cassini-land, we are really excited about Tuesday’s Rhea flyby! This will be the mission’s second targeted flyby of the moon in the mission, so it’s sometimes referred to as R-2 or Rhea-2. The spacecraft will fly by Rhea at an altitude of about 100 kilometers (60 miles), the closest encounter yet […]

400th Anniversary of Galileo’s Discovery

400th Anniversary of Galileo’s Discovery

Jane Houston Jones The end of 1609 and the first months of 1610 mark the beginning of modern astronomy. 400 years ago today, January 7th, Galileo Galilei looked up towards the constellation Orion. He aimed his telescope at an object brighter than any of the surrounding stars – the planet Jupiter. The view through his […]

Over the Hills and through the Sand: Six Years of Driving on Mars

Over the Hills and through the Sand: Six Years of Driving on Mars

John Wright I almost didn’t get to drive the rovers. As one of the five developers of the software used to build the command sequences and rehearse and visualize the rover activities, I really wanted to be one of the people using it in flight. Unfortunately, only three members of the team were selected to […]

2012 – A Scientific Reality Check

2012 – A Scientific Reality Check

Donald Yeomans There apparently is a great deal of interest in celestial bodies, and their locations and trajectories at the end of the calendar year 2012. Now, I for one love a good book or movie as much as the next guy. But the stuff flying around through cyberspace, TV and the movies is not […]