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Emily Lakdawalla

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla (2017, alternate)

Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist

[email protected]

Extended biography and head shots
List of publications

Emily is available for speaking engagements.

Emily Lakdawalla is an internationally admired science communicator and educator, passionate about advancing public understanding of space and sharing the wonder of scientific discovery.

Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in geology from Amherst College and a Master of Science degree in planetary geology from Brown University. She came to The Planetary Society in 2001. She has been writing and editing the Planetary Society Blog since 2005, reporting on space news, explaining planetary science, and sharing beautiful space photos. Emily has been an active supporter of the international community of space image processing enthusiasts as Administrator of the forum since 2005. She is also a contributing editor to Sky & Telescope magazine.

Her first book, titled The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job, is due out from Springer-Praxis in March, 2018. The book explains the development, design, and function of Curiosity with the same level of technical detail that she delivers in the Planetary Society Blog. A second book, Curiosity and Its Science Mission: A Mars Rover Goes to Work will follow in 2019.

She was awarded the 2011 Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award from the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society for her blog entry about the Phoebe ring of Saturn. Asteroid 274860 was formally named "Emilylakdawalla" by the International Astronomical Union on July 12, 2014. She received an honorary doctorate from The Open University in 2017 in recognition of her contributions in communicating space science to the public.

Emily can be reached at [email protected] or @elakdawalla on Twitter.

Latest Blog Posts

#LPSC2018: Titan Is Terrific!

March 21, 2018

Emily's first report from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference is on the solar system's most atmospheriffic satellite, Saturn's moon Titan.

Moon Monday: Looking back at the Moon from Apollo 17

March 18, 2018

For this Moon Monday, Emily digs up a classic from the end of the Apollo program.

#LPSC2018: A full week of planetary science

March 15, 2018

It's time for the 49th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC), a geology-focused meeting of planetary scientists. Here's a preview, and a call for help from attendees. I'll be presenting at two lunchtime workshops.

Moon Monday: Tethys from Voyager

March 12, 2018

To start the week, Voyager 2's best image of Tethys.

Image processing trick: How to open PDS-formatted images in Photoshop

March 07, 2018

Emily explains to amateur image processors how to open archival NASA science data directly in Photoshop without needing to use any other software tools.

InSight delivered to Vandenberg launch site

March 06, 2018

InSight, NASA's next Mars mission, has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in preparation for a May 5 launch.

Sketching a science meeting

March 02, 2018

The Planetary Society has always enjoyed the connections between science and art, so when I saw Leila Qışın's sketches pop up on her Twitter feed during the recent New Horizons team meeting, I knew I had to share them with you.

Hayabusa2 has detected Ryugu!

March 01, 2018

In a milestone for the mission, JAXA's Hayabusa2 sample return spacecraft has sighted its destination, asteroid Ryugu.

Latest Processed Space Images

Map of HiRISE anaglyph image coverage for the Opportunity traverse

Not published yet

Blue boxes denote digital terrain models (DTMs). Green boxes are stereo pairs that are also available as anaglyphs. Purple box indicates an image pair that could potentially be converted into an anaglyph/DTM. Yellow line indicates Opportunity's traverse as of February 2014. Underlying CTX image is at 10 meters per pixel.

Apollo 17's departing view of the Moon

March 18, 2018

Apollo astronauts were treated to a glorious view of the Moon's eastern hemisphere as they flew home. Processed from a scan from Johnson Space Center's Project Apollo Archive.

Voyager's best image of Tethys

March 12, 2018

Voyager 2 captured this photo of Tethys at 02:04 on 26 August 1981. It is the highest-resolution image of Tethys from the Voyager mission.

astronaut on Phobos
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