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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 on Mars: Design, Planning, and the First Mars Year of Operations, due out from Springer-Praxis in 2015. 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

Talking to Pluto is hard! Why it takes so long to get data back from New Horizons

Posted 2015/01/30 09:53 CST | 0 comment

As I write this post, New Horizons is nearing the end of a weeklong optical navigation campaign. The last optical navigation images in the weeklong series will be taken tomorrow, but it will likely take two weeks or more for all the data to get to Earth. Two weeks! Why does it take so long?

Ceres: Just a little bit closer (and officially better than Hubble)

Posted 2015/01/27 06:26 CST | 5 comments

Last week's Dawn images of Ceres were just slightly less detailed than Hubble's best. This week's are just slightly better.

A second ringed centaur? Centaurs with rings could be common

Posted 2015/01/27 12:43 CST | 2 comments

Chiron, which is both a centaur and a comet, may also have rings.

At last! A slew of OSIRIS images shows fascinating landscapes on Rosetta's comet

Posted 2015/01/26 11:50 CST | 7 comments

The first results of the Rosetta mission are out in Science magazine. The publication of these papers means that the OSIRIS camera team has finally released a large quantity of closeup images of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taken in August and September of last year. I explain most of them, with help from my notes from December's American Geophysical Union meeting.

Curiosity update, sols 814-863: Pahrump Hills Walkabout, part 2

Posted 2015/01/21 07:24 CST | 5 comments

Curiosity has spent the last two months completing a second circuit of the Pahrump Hills field site, gathering APXS and MAHLI data. The work has been hampered by the loss of the ChemCam focusing laser, but the team is developing a workaround. Over the holidays, the rover downlinked many Gigabits of image data. The rover is now preparing for a drilling campaign.

New Dawn images of Ceres: comparable to Hubble

Posted 2015/01/20 09:06 CST | 9 comments

Dawn has captured a series of photos of a rotating Ceres whose resolution is very close to Hubble's, and they show tantalizing surface details.

Beagle 2 found?

Posted 2015/01/16 11:04 CST | 5 comments

What happened to Beagle 2? It's been a mystery for 11 years. That mystery appears to have been solved.

Ten years after the Huygens landing: The story of its images

Posted 2015/01/15 03:02 CST | 5 comments

The landing of Huygens on Titan was a significant moment for planetary science and a great accomplishment for Europe. But the Huygens landing also stimulated the development of the international community of amateur image processors that does such great work with space images today. I was in the midst of it all at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt.

Older blog posts »

Latest Processed Space Images

Dawn's view of Ceres on January 25, 2015 (animation)

Dawn's view of Ceres on January 25, 2015 (animation)

Posted 2015/01/27 | 0 comments

This animation is composed of 20 images gathered over a period of about an hour for optical navigation purposes. Dawn was 237,000 kilometers from Ceres at the time.

Whale Rock, sol 842

Whale Rock, sol 842

Posted 2015/01/21 | 0 comments

Wind has eroded the thinly bedded rock of Whale Rock into incredibly thin plates. This outcrop is near the highest elevation of the Pahrump Hills field site.

Dawn optical navigation sequence on Ceres, January 13, 2015

Dawn optical navigation sequence on Ceres, January 13, 2015

Posted 2015/01/20 | 0 comments

Dawn took the 20 images for this animation on January 13, 2015, in its first lengthy optical navigation sequence on asteroid 1 Ceres. Dawn was 383,000 kilometers away at the time. The images in this animation have been aligned and contrast-adjusted.

More pictures processed by Emily Lakdawalla »

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