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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

Rosetta end-of-mission plans: Landing site, time selected

Posted 2016/07/26 03:13 CDT | 1 comment

ESA's comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft is nearing the end of its mission. Last week, ESA announced when and where Rosetta is going to touch down. And tomorrow, it will forever shut down the radio system intended for communicating with the silent Philae lander.

The Planetary Society at San Diego Comic-Con (UPDATED with video!)

Posted 2016/07/21 06:04 CDT | 4 comments

Whether or not you're attending San Diego Comic-Con, you can enjoy a discussion panel with Emily Lakdawalla and five science fiction authors about the future of science fiction in the context of today's amazing scientific advances.

Pluto is not the end

Posted 2016/07/14 08:03 CDT | 14 comments

One year after the New Horizons Pluto flyby, Emily reflects on its significance.

Oppositions, conjunctions, seasons, and ring plane crossings of the giant planets

Posted 2016/07/07 08:01 CDT | 4 comments

When are the solstices and equinoxes on the giant planets, and when are they best positioned for view from Earth? I ask these questions a lot as I write about Earth photos of giant planets, and I finally decided to gather the answers to those questions in a single post.

Juno has arrived!

Posted 2016/07/05 01:14 CDT | 7 comments

For a second time, NASA has placed a spacecraft into orbit at Jupiter. The spacecraft operated exactly according to plan, and Juno successfully entered orbit today, July 5, 2016, UTC

A peek at the JunoCam approach movie

Posted 2016/07/04 09:36 CDT | 2 comments

We're now just about 12 hours away from Juno's Jupiter orbit insertion. As anticipation ramps up, NASA has released this sneak peek at JunoCam's approach movie, made of views of Jupiter and its largest moons shot during the final approach, up until about five days ago.

How to watch Juno's orbit insertion

Posted 2016/07/01 05:22 CDT | 3 comments

The big day is almost here. Juno begins firing its main engine at 20:18 PT / 23:18 ET / 03:18 UT on July 4/5, and the maneuver should be over 35 minutes later at 20:53 / 23:53 / 03:53. Here's how you can follow the mission through its most hazardous event since launch.

What's up in the solar system, July 2016 edition: Juno to enter orbit, NASA missions all extended

Posted 2016/07/01 03:49 CDT | 2 comments

Highlights this month include the impending arrival of Juno at Jupiter, the approval of extended missions for all of NASA's solar system spacecraft, and public data releases from Rosetta, New Horizons, and Cassini.

Older blog posts »

Latest Processed Space Images

Map of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko regions with landing locations

Map of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko regions with landing locations

Posted 2016/07/26 | 0 comments

The 19 regions identified on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko are separated by distinct geomorphological boundaries. Following the ancient Egyptian theme of the Rosetta mission, they are named for Egyptian deities. They are grouped according to the type of terrain dominant within each region. Five basic categories of terrain type have been determined: dust-covered (Ma’at, Ash and Babi); brittle materials with pits and circular structures (Seth); large-scale depressions (Hatmehit, Nut and Aten); smooth terrains (Hapi, Imhotep and Anubis), and exposed, more consolidated (‘rock-like’) surfaces (Maftet, Bastet, Serqet, Hathor, Anuket, Khepry, Aker, Atum and Apis). All three landing sites (Philae initial and final sites and the planned resting place of the Rosetta orbiter) are located on the northern part of the "head" of the comet.

Cruise image of Mars by ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (colorized)

Cruise image of Mars by ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (colorized)

Posted 2016/06/16 | 0 comments

ExoMars captured its first image of Mars on June 13, 2016. This version of the image has been colorized a Mars color and given more space to emphasize the distance remaining, about 41 million kilometers.

Twelve Curiosity drill holes on Mars

Twelve Curiosity drill holes on Mars

Posted 2016/06/04 | 0 comments

As of May 2016, Curiosity has drilled and sampled at eleven 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; Lubango, on sol 1320; Okoruso, sol 1332, and Oudam, sol 1361. 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.

More pictures processed by Emily Lakdawalla »

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