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PLEASE NOTE: The blog formerly known as The Meridiani Journal is now Planetaria (http://planetaria.ca )! This Google+ page has also been updated. TMJ was first started in 2005 when the primary planetary exploration missions at the time were the Mars rovers Opportunity and Spirit. Now there are many different missions happening as well as thousands of exoplanets being discovered, so the new name is a better reflection of that.  The old domain for TMJ still works and now redirects to Planetaria, as well as all previous links. 😊
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Largest rocky exoplanet found so far.
A planet roughly half the size of Neptune might be 100 percent rock, making it the largest known rocky world.
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Nice new view of Opportunity rover looking out over Endeavour crater. Processing by Thomas Appéré.
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It is a time for another carnival of space. Did you manage to see all planets together in the dawn sky? After several rainy and cloudy mornings I got up at 6 am and was able to see all of them. Mercury was definitely the hardest as the sky were quite blue. It was about 30 minutes before sunrise ...
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Image of "cauliflower" silica formations found by the Spirit rover in 2008 near Home Plate in Gusev crater. Do they hold clues to ancient life on Mars? Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech[/caption...
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Here is the abstract for the new paper regarding the "cauliflower" silica formations on Mars, as well as a related overview and initial article. Possible evidence for ancient microbial activity. h/t Jonathan Clarke.

https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm15/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/58752

http://marsnext.jpl.nasa.gov/workshops/2015_08/16_Ruff_M2020_2nd_LSW_presentation_v3.pdf

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/mysterious-martian-cauliflower-may-be-latest-hint-alien-life-180957981/?no-ist
Unusual silica formations spotted by a NASA rover look a lot like structures formed by microbes around geysers on Earth
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More interesting discussions re the weird dimming star KIC 8462852. Michael Hippke published a new paper suggesting there was no century-long dimming as last reported, but now Bradley Schaefer has responded to that, pointing out errors in that paper in a pretty good rebuttal:

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=34927

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=34933
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Have them in circles
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And “follow the water” could be a misguided strategy.
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Was there ever life on Mars? That is one of the longest-running and most debated questions in planetary science, and while there have been tantalizing clues, solid evidence has been elusive. Now there is a new piece to add to the puzzle, which may be one of the most interesting yet. As first reported on … Continue Reading →
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New Horizons has shown Pluto to be a diverse world, more so than many scientists had anticipated, with tall mountain ranges, vast glaciers, a blue-colored layered atmosphere, and possible ice volcanoes. One thing, however, which seemed to be relatively lacking, was exposed water ice. Not much had been seen on the surface, not even in … Continue Reading →
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We’ve all seen the commercials for the Energizer Bunny, which keeps going and going and going… it just never seems to stop. This makes for an interesting analogy with the Opportunity rover, which is just now passing its 12th anniversary on Mars. Not just 90 days, as hoped for, but 12 years and counting. Incredible. … Continue Reading →
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Interesting...
Unusual silica formations spotted by a NASA rover look a lot like structures formed by microbes around geysers on Earth
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I was born in the Atacama Desert. It trully seems another planet. And when I see pics coming from the Martian rovers, they immediately evoke me the Atacama! Interesting article!
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Have them in circles
635 people
Raimo Kangasniemi's profile photo
Sudaryanto Sukimin's profile photo
AllInGuide's profile photo
Flavio Bernardotti's profile photo
Paul Carr's profile photo
Alejandra Escobedo's profile photo
Cliff Cottell's profile photo
Eric Sayles's profile photo
Funny video animals's profile photo
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exploring alien worlds
Introduction
The Meridiani Journal is a chronicle of planetary exploration and discovery, both in our own solar system and beyond.

The name is derived from the desert plains of Meridiani Planum on Mars, where the Opportunity rover landed in 2004.

Many recent discoveries, such as the geysers of Enceladus, the subsurface ocean of Europa, the methane lakes and seas of Titan and the growing number of exoplanets found orbiting other stars make this an exciting time of exploration and discovery.

TMJ is published by space writer and blogger Paul Scott Anderson, a life-long space exploration supporter and member of The Planetary Society. He also writes for The Spaceflight GroupAmericaSpaceUniverse Today and Examiner.com.
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