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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

Chang'e 5 test vehicle maps future sample return site

Posted 2015/09/03 12:13 CDT | 3 comments

This summer the Chinese space agency has been making progress toward its planned 2017 launch of the Chang'e 5 robotic sample return mission, performing low-altitude imaging of the future landing site.

New Horizons extended mission target selected

Posted 2015/09/01 06:09 CDT | 4 comments

The New Horizons mission has formally selected its next target after Pluto: a tiny, dim, frozen world currently named 2014 MU69. The spacecraft will perform a series of four rocket firings in October and November to angle its trajectory to pass close by 2014 MU69 in early January 2019. In so doing, New Horizons will become the first flyby craft to pass by a target that was not discovered before the spacecraft launched.

Webcomic: Poetry in space

Posted 2015/08/26 10:11 CDT | 4 comments

Take a delightful, pixelated journey with French artist Boulet as he explains his love for the "infinite void" of the "mathematical skies."

Three space fan visualizations of New Horizons' Pluto-Charon flyby

Posted 2015/08/25 01:42 CDT | 4 comments

It has been a difficult wait for new New Horizons images, but the wait is almost over; Alan Stern announced at today's Outer Planets Advisory Group meeting that image downlink will resume September 5. In the meantime, a few space fans are making the most of the small amount of data that has been returned to date.

Galileo's best pictures of Jupiter's ringmoons

Posted 2015/08/24 07:07 CDT | 4 comments

People often ask me to produce one of my scale-comparison montages featuring the small moons of the outer solar system. I'd love to do that, but Galileo's best images of Jupiter's ringmoons lack detail compared to Cassini's images from Saturn.

The story behind Curiosity's self-portraits on Mars

Posted 2015/08/19 03:52 CDT | 2 comments

How and why does Curiosity take self-portraits? A look at some of the people and stories behind Curiosity's "selfies" on the occasion of the official release of the sol 1065 belly pan self-portrait at Buckskin, below Marias Pass, Mars.

Curiosity update, sols 1012-1072: Sciencing back and forth below Marias Pass

Posted 2015/08/14 07:14 CDT | 0 comment

Since my last update, Curiosity has driven back and forth repeatedly across a section of rocks below Marias pass. The rover finally drilled at a spot named Buckskin on sol 1060, marking the drill's return to operations after suffering a short on sol 911. Now the rover is driving up into Marias Pass and onto the Washboard or Stimson unit.

ESA's cool new interactive comet visualization tool based on amateur imaging work with open data

Posted 2015/08/13 01:49 CDT | 2 comments

A terrific new visualization tool for comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko demonstrates the value of sharing mission image data with the public. The browser-based tool lets you spin a simulated 3D view of the comet. It began with a 3D model of the comet created not by ESA, but by a space enthusiast, Mattias Malmer.

Older blog posts »

Latest Processed Space Images

Prometheus

Prometheus

Posted 2015/08/25 | 0 comments

On December 26, 2009, Cassini passed within 60,000 kilometers of the moon Prometheus to capture the highest-resolution-ever views of the potato-shaped moon, the inner shepherd of the F ring. Prometheus is 119 by 87 by 61 kilometers in diameter, nearly a twin to its neighbor Pandora. This view is an RGB natural-color composite, composed from the raw images from the Cassini website. It has been enlarged by a factor of two.

Ten shots of the F ring

Ten shots of the F ring

Posted 2015/08/25 | 0 comments

Cassini captured these 10 views of the F ring on July 5, 2008, as part of a survey to understand the F ring's structure. Prometheus, the inner shepherd of the F ring, is visible in the leftmost image (overexposed).

Crescent Iapetus

Crescent Iapetus

Posted 2015/08/24 | 0 comments

Cassini took several series of photos of Iapetus from a distance in September, 2009. This one is composed of four pictures taken through infrared, green, ultraviolet, and clear filters and is enlarged by a factor of two.

More pictures processed by Emily Lakdawalla »

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