Exploring Mars

If you share my fascination with the Red Planet, there are a couple of things I think you’ll enjoy, so before I head off deeper into the Solar System, I think some recommendations are in order. How to use Google…

Mars – Land of Megavolcanoes

At the mention of Martian volcanism, chances are the first thing you think of is Olympus Mons. It’s a monster of a volcano: both the highest (22km) and the most long-lived we know of in the Solar System. And though…

Mars – wet or dry?

This is an exciting time for Mars exploration. Orbiters are circling the planet, sending back optical, spectral, radar and altimetry data which is expanding our knowledge base by leaps and bounds. Meanwhile, the rover Opportunity is still active on the…

Virgin Vesta

Exam season is causing a short break in proceedings, so in the meantime here’s something rather beautiful: NASA’s virtual flight over the asteroid Vesta, based on the data gathered by the Dawn mission: Vesta’s been a prime target for exploration…

Through the clouds: a radar view of the surface with simulated colour based on images taken by landers. (Source: NASA)

Burning, crushing and corrosive, Venus could seem like a disturbingly cynical metaphor for the Goddess of Love.  But for all its extremes (or maybe because of them) this is a beautiful planet, with countless volcanoes, towering mountains and baffling systems…

Mercury – a new dawn

Up until a few years back, we were pretty sure we had Mercury all figured out: as a small planet close to the Sun, it would be similar to our Moon – volcanically dead, intensely-cratered, inert or gently contracting through…

Welcome to New Worlds – an exploration into the rocky planets and moons of the Solar System and beyond.  I’ll be bringing you all the latest news coming from the many space missions and telescopic studies in play today and…