News articles tagged with "planetary_science"

10/15/2014 08:34:03
Kimm Fesenmaier
Results from NASA's Kepler planet-hunting mission have indicated that the most common planets in the galaxy are super-Earths—those that are bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. We have no examples of these planets in our own solar system, so Heather Knutson, assistant professor of planetary science at Caltech, and her colleagues are using space telescopes to try to find out more about these worlds. They hope to shed some light on the processes of planet formation and evolution and to be able to say something about how common or rare our solar system is when compared to those found throughout the universe.
12/13/2012 19:57:09
Douglas Smith
A new era in planetary science began in 1962, when Mariner 2 and the 200-inch Hale telescope simultaneously took a close look at Venus.
11/27/2012 16:29:47
Ann Motrunich
The confirmed count of planets in other solar systems has skyrocketed to more than 850, plus thousands of identified candidates. The opportunity to characterize so many solar systems has brought together Caltech planetary scientists and astronomers, who are forming a Center for Planetary Astronomy.
11/19/2012 22:33:03
Douglas Smith
On November 20, 1969, Apollo 12 astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean paid a visit to JPL's Surveyor 3, which had landed on the moon two and a half years earlier.
10/16/2012 09:03:06
Douglas Smith
Fifteen years after its launch, the Cassini mission to Saturn continues to give us a close-up, long-term view of the ringed planet and its astonishingly diverse collection of moons. Here are some of the highlights so far.
10/14/2012 19:21:52
Shayna Chabner McKinney

Andrew Ingersoll, Earle C. Anthony Professor of Planetary Sciences, has been a leader in the investigation of planetary weather and climate for nearly five decades.

09/27/2012 13:12:18
Kimm Fesenmaier

An ankle- or hip-deep stream once flowed with force across the surface of Mars in the very spot where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring.

09/12/2012 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

Several hypotheses have been proposed to explan how clay minerals detected on the surface of Mars were formed. Now, publishing in the journal Nature Geoscience, a team of French and American scientists including Caltech's Bethany Ehlmann, has suggested a new possibility. The Los Angeles Times recently spoke to Ehlmann about the paper and its implications.

08/10/2012 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

When Curiosity touched down safely on Mars on August 5, John Grotzinger, the mission's chief scientist and the Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology at Caltech, was given the "keys" to the car-sized rover. Since then, most of Curiosity's time has been taken up by a series of checkouts, but she has relayed hundreds of images back to Earth, giving the science team plenty to study and discuss.

08/07/2012 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

The mood in von Karman Auditorium at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) late Sunday night was overwhelmingly, almost deliriously, celebratory. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, touched down safely on Mars at 10:32 p.m. PDT and minutes later relayed its first black-and-white thumbnail images back to Earth, showing one of its wheels firmly planted on Martian soil.

08/05/2012 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

The "seven minutes of terror" are over, and members of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team have finally let out a collective sigh of relief.

 

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