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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist

blog@planetary.org
+1-626-793-5100

Extended bio
Appearance calendar
and head shots

Emily Lakdawalla is a passionate advocate for the exploration of all of the worlds of our solar system. Through blogs, photos, videos, podcasts, print articles, Twitter, and any other medium she can put her hand to, Emily shares the adventure of space exploration with the world.

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 to oversee a portion of the Society's Red Rover Goes to Mars project, an education and public outreach program on the Mars Exploration Rover mission funded by LEGO. She has been writing and editing the Planetary Society Blog since 2005, reporting on space news, explaining planetary science, and sharing beautiful space photos. She appears weekly on the Society's Planetary Radio podcast, answering listener questions or rounding up the latest space news from the blog.

Emily has been an Administrator of the forum UnmannedSpaceflight.com since 2005, supporting a worldwide community of amateur space image processors. She is also a contributing editor to Sky & Telescope magazine.

She is now writing her first book, tentatively titled Curiosity Rover: Design, Planning, and Field Geology on Mars, due out from Springer-Praxis in 2017. The book will explain the development, design, mission, and science of Curiosity with the same level of technical detail that she delivers in the Planetary Society Blog.

Emily can be reached at blog@planetary.org or @elakdawalla on Twitter.

Latest Blog Posts

The phases of the far side of the Moon

Posted 2016/04/28 10:50 CDT | 3 comments

Serbian artist Ivica Stošić used Clementine and Kaguya data to give a glimpse of the phases of the lunar farside.

Quick Curiosity update, sol 1320: "Lubango," the 10th drill site on Mars

Posted 2016/04/25 11:15 CDT | 0 comment

Curiosity has drilled into Mars for the 10th time at a site named Lubango, on sol 1320 (April 23, 2016). Lubango is in a bright-toned halo around a crack in the Stimson sandstone unit on the western edge of the Naukluft Plateau.

NASA Space Apps Challenge: Women hacking space image data

Posted 2016/04/22 12:19 CDT | 2 comments

Today I'm participating in a program called the International @SpaceApps Women in Data Bootcamp. I'm presenting a brief talk highlighting the way that my personal discovery of NASA's image data archives shaped my path into public communication about science, and briefly showcasing three other women who do amazing work with public image data.

Moonset over Mars

Posted 2016/04/21 10:23 CDT | 0 comment

Enjoy this serene image of a moonset on another world, captured by Curiosity's Mastcam in April 2014 and processed here by Justin Cowart.

A new angle on Mars for Mars Odyssey

Posted 2016/04/19 01:05 CDT | 3 comments

Mars Odyssey has been in space for 15 years. It flies in a special "sun-synchronous" orbit, crossing the equator at roughly the same local time every day. Over time, the Odyssey mission has changed what that local time of day is, and I just realized something cool about how those changes show up in the geometry of its images.

Curiosity update, sols 1250-1310: Across the Naukluft Plateau

Posted 2016/04/13 02:57 CDT | 8 comments

Curiosity has driven onward from Namib dune across a highstanding unit of rock called the Naukluft Plateau. Despite some frustrating sols lost to a short circuit in the RTG and DSN troubles, the rover has made progress, and performed lots of 3D imaging of weirdly wind-eroded rocks.

Opposition surge comet

Posted 2016/04/12 10:43 CDT | 1 comment

Today, the Rosetta OSIRIS team's Image of the Day is this highly unusual view of the comet with the Sun very nearly behind the spacecraft.

What's up in solar system exploration: April 2016 edition

Posted 2016/04/04 10:58 CDT | 2 comments

This month (actually, today), Cassini had a relatively close flyby of Titan, and New Horizons will observe a very distant Kuiper belt object named 1994 JR1. Akatsuki has just fine-tuned its orbit around Venus, and Hayabusa2 has begun an 800-hour ion engine thrusting phase to steer it toward near-Earth asteroid Ryugu.

Older blog posts »

Latest Processed Space Images

Ten Curiosity drill holes on Mars

Ten Curiosity drill holes on Mars

Posted 2016/04/25 | 0 comments

As of April 2016, Curiosity has drilled and sampled at ten locations on Mars. They are (left to right and top to bottom): John Klein, drilled on sol 182; Cumberland, on sol 279; Windjana, on sol 621; Confidence Hills, on sol 759, Mojave, on sol 882; Telegraph Peak, on sol 908; Buckskin, on sol 1060; Big Sky, on sol 1119; Greenhorn, on sol 1137; and Lubango, on sol 1320. All of these images were taken with the MAHLI camera on the end of the arm from a distance of about 5 centimeters. The drill holes are 1.6 centimeters wide.

Strangely eroded rock atop the Naukluft Plateau, Curiosity sol 1305 (3D)

Strangely eroded rock atop the Naukluft Plateau, Curiosity sol 1305 (3D)

Posted 2016/04/13 | 0 comments

Curiosity encountered lots of oddly shaped wind-eroded rocks atop the Naukluft Plateau. Here is a side-by-side stereo version suitable for Google Cardboard.

More pictures processed by Emily Lakdawalla »

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