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The round worlds in the solar system: An updated graphic

Emily Lakdawalla • November 02, 2015

I have a newly updated scale comparison graphic to share: all the round worlds in the solar system smaller than 10,000 kilometers in diameter, now with added Pluto, Charon, and Ceres.

Dawn data from Ceres publicly released: Finally, color global portraits!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 22, 2015

A few days ago, Dawn officially released the first big pile of data from the Ceres mission phase. Thanks to the public release, I can show you color global portraits of Ceres.

Roundup of the September 11, 2015 New Horizons raw image release

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2015

Last Friday the Internet received its first post-encounter pile of goodies from the New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system.

Finding the Surveyor retro-rockets on the Moon

Phil Stooke • September 15, 2015

Planetary scientist Phil Stooke may have found the retro-rockets from NASA's Lunar Surveyor missions, sent to the Moon in preparation for Apollo.

A Workhorse at Mars

Tanya Harrison • September 11, 2015

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) is almost a silent star at Mars. The latest MRO data release brought the total number of available CTX images to over 70,000, covering well over 90% of the Red Planet at a stunning resolution of 6 meters per pixel.

Dawn Ceres image bonanza: Grab your 3D glasses!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 09, 2015

For months, Dawn has been steadily, methodically sharing dozens of images of brand-new sights of a previously unexplored icy world. For the last couple of days I've been making up for lost time, completely buried in the Dawn Ceres images, and I have some maps and 3D anaglyphs to share with you.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • August 25, 2015

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • August 13, 2015

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.

New Curiosity Self-Portrait

Damia Bouic • August 11, 2015

Amateur image processor Damia Bouic shares new stunning images from Curiosity—including a "selfie" from a whole new angle.

New Horizons: Awaiting the data

Emily Lakdawalla • July 19, 2015

New Horizons' encounter and data downlinks have been going exactly as planned, but the raw image website has not been updated for many days. What's going on? I found out.

Pluto's progression: Third-to-last Pluto day before encounter

Emily Lakdawalla • July 03, 2015

Only two days remain until New Horizons' historic encounter with Pluto....two Pluto days, that is. Pluto and Charon rotate together once every 6.4 days, so as New Horizons has approached the pair over the last week, we've been treated to one stately progression of all of their longitudes.

New Horizons update: Resolving features on Charon and seeing in color

Emily Lakdawalla • June 23, 2015

Only about three weeks remain until the flyby — it's getting really close! I almost don't want the anticipation to end. New Horizons is now getting color images and is seeing features on Charon. Deep searches have yielded no new moons.

Pluto and Charon spin among the stars

Emily Lakdawalla • June 16, 2015

I've spent a happy couple of days playing with raw data downloaded from the New Horizons website, making animations of the dances of Pluto and Charon.

An enigmatic line across Pluto: Plutonian canali!?

Emily Lakdawalla • June 09, 2015

Pluto and Charon are growing larger in New Horizons' forward view, beginning to develop distinct personalities. A version of recent New Horizons photos processed by Björn Jónsson reveals an enigmatic dark line. Our maps of Pluto's surface are now as good as our maps of Mars and Venus, circa 1900!

A (very) few more details on Pluto

Emily Lakdawalla • June 01, 2015

Last week the New Horizons mission released a few new processed versions of their latest and greatest images of Pluto. They're the best images of Pluto that Earth has ever seen, but they're still a long way from what New Horizons will be able to show us, six weeks from now.

Real-time sunset on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • May 24, 2015

Pause your life for six minutes and watch the Sun set....on Mars. Thank you, Glen Nagle, for this awe-inspiring simulation based on Curiosity's sol 956 sunset images.

Tons of fun with the latest Ceres image releases from Dawn

Emily Lakdawalla • May 22, 2015

Fantastic new images of Ceres continue to spill out of the Dawn mission, and armchair scientists all over the world are zooming into them, exploring them, and trying to solve the puzzles that they contain.

Rover eyes on rock layers on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • May 19, 2015

Digging in to mission image archives yields similar images of layered Martian rocks from very different places.

Unseen latitudes of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko -- revealed!

Emily Lakdawalla • May 15, 2015

A recent Rosetta image has revealed a good part of the comet's previously hidden southern terrain to the public for the first time.

Sunset on Mars

Damia Bouic • May 06, 2015

Long before Curiosity's landing, the description of the color camera made ​​me dream: I imagined what wonderful pictures we could get of sunsets and sunrises on Mars. They finally came on sol 956, the 15th of April, 2015.

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