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Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spies Chang'e 3 and Yutu

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2013 • 4

As promised, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's sharp eyes spotted the Chang'e 3 lander and Yutu rover on the lunar surface on December 25. The hardware shows up as a few bright pixels throwing long, dark shadows, clearly visible in a before-and-after comparison.

The Mercury Transit You Probably Missed

Karl Battams • December 30, 2013 • 2

Planetary transits of the Sun by Mercury and Venus don't come along very often, and when they do we make a big deal of it because, well, it's really cool!

Chang'e 3 update with lots of pictures: Yutu begins lunar journey

Emily Lakdawalla • December 23, 2013 • 9

There was a lot of action on Chang'e 3 over the weekend! I have lots of pictures to share, including the highest-quality one I've seen of the rover on the surface, plus video of the rover making tracks on the Moon and a 3D view of the lander.

NASA re-creates the Apollo 8 Earthrise using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data

Andrew Chaikin • December 20, 2013 • 1

If there's one thing I've learned after decades of studying the first human voyages to another world, it's that there is always more to discover about Apollo. Case in point: The Apollo 8 Earthrise photo that became one of the iconic images of the 20th century.

Curiosity update, sols 465-487: Wheel inspection, software upgrade, Cumberland dump

Ken Herkenhoff • December 19, 2013

Curiosity activities over sols 465 to 487 included monitoring the condition of the wheels; a flight software upgrade; and dumping the Cumberland drill sample. Curiosity put approximately 200 meters on the odometer during this period.

Amazing Chang'e 3 descent video

Emily Lakdawalla • December 15, 2013 • 8

Watch and enjoy this full video of Chang'e 3's descent onto the lunar surface.

Color photo of Yutu rover and Chang'e lander, and more on the Chang'e 3 landing site

Emily Lakdawalla • December 15, 2013 • 9

Fresh off of Chinese state television are lovely pictures taken by Chang'e 3 lander and rover of each other!

Six wheels on soil for Yutu!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2013 • 9

Here it is! Animated gifs, composed of screen grabs from Chinese state television, of the Yutu rover rolling on to the lunar surface. This was a replay, but it was no less thrilling for that; the actual rollout happened at 20:40 UT (12:40 PT). Six wheels on soil! Woohoo!

Enceladus huffs and puffs: plumes vary with orbital longitude

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2013 • 2

In which I finally get around to writing about a paper published last August: Enceladus' plumes sometimes spout more and sometimes spout less, depending on where Enceladus is in its orbit. This discovery was enabled by Cassini's longevity at Saturn, and we'll be able to follow up on it, as long as Cassini is allowed to complete its mission.

The Mists of Mars

Bill Dunford • December 09, 2013 • 3

Two grand canyons fill with fog, one on Earth and one on Mars.

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