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Blog Archive


A right old comet kerfuffle…

Stuart Atkinson • July 18, 2014

A European space enthusiast, children's author, and volunteer astronomy outreach worker asks for more images from Rosetta.

Voyager 3 Project

Peter Rosén • July 08, 2014

In 1979, the Voyager 1 probe took a stunning series of images on its final approach to Jupiter. Thirty-five years later, almost to the day, a group of seven Swedish amateur astronomers set out to replicate this odyssey, but with images taken with their own ground-based telescopes.

A close look at Saturn's closest moons

Emily Lakdawalla • June 26, 2014

A new composite image of the eight named moons that orbit closest to Saturn, and a list of all the best Cassini observations of these moons.

Deep Impact's last images

Emily Lakdawalla • May 27, 2014

Today I received an email notification of new public releases of some image data sets. I always love seeing new public space image data, but this notification was bittersweet: it included the first public release of the very last image data returned to Earth by Deep Impact, of a distant comet ISON.

Dust on, dust off: Before-and-after comparisons of rover decks on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • May 19, 2014

Curiosity and Opportunity self-portraits show one rover accumulating dust, the other losing it. Check out these cool before-and-after comparisons.

Image processing trick: Removing interline transfer smear from Curiosity photos

Emily Lakdawalla • May 01, 2014

Curiosity took a new self-portrait on sol 613. This post contains a tip for would-be Curiosity image processors on how to make their Curiosity mosaics better: removing the smearing effect of bright objects in MAHLI photos.

Another Pale Blue Dot — Uranus Spied By Cassini

Val Klavans and Ian Regan • April 30, 2014

The Cassini mission has already returned an array of images of other solar system members from Saturn orbit: Earth (and the Moon), Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. It’s time to add another world to that list!

Pretty picture: Sunset over Gale crater

Emily Lakdawalla • April 14, 2014

Imagine yourself on a windswept landscape of rocks and red dust with mountains all around you. The temperature -- never warm on this planet -- suddenly plunges, as the small Sun sets behind the western range of mountains.

Look how clean Opportunity is now!

Emily Lakdawalla • April 09, 2014

While climbing Murray Ridge, Opportunity enjoyed a major cleaning event that has left the rover's solar panels more dust-free than they have been in years. The rover captured a pretty panorama of the newly clean deck with its Pancams, and James Sorenson processed the version shown here.

A little fun with Cassini rings images

Emily Lakdawalla • February 25, 2014

It's happened again; I went into the Cassini image archive looking for something specific and wound up spending several hours playing with totally unrelated image data. Here are several beautiful images of the rings from the archives.

The Two Faces of Phoebe

Daniel Macháček • February 13, 2014

Cassini flew past Phoebe on June 11, 2004, on its way to entering Saturn orbit. The flyby was almost perfect but overexposure of some images have prevented color mosaics from being produced. Even though Phoebe's body is gray and dull in color, the absence of color images always provoked me. By using VIMS data, I have now produced color mosaics.

New Hills, Old Secrets

Bill Dunford • February 10, 2014

Exploring a set of newly named hills on Mars reveals tantalizing clues to the planet's story.

Looking Backward: Curiosity gazes upon the setting Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • February 05, 2014

A few days ago, Curiosity looked westward after sunset and photographed Earth setting toward the mountainous rim of Gale crater.

The Faces of Mars

Bill Dunford • February 03, 2014

Portraits of a planet.

The Giant Spider of Mercury

Bill Dunford • January 27, 2014

Striking terrain discovered by the MESSENGER probe.

New Views of Martian Weather

Bill Dunford • January 20, 2014

The latest postcards from Mars Express feature cloudy skies.

"Secrets of the Kuiper Belt" in Sky & Telescope

Emily Lakdawalla • January 16, 2014

Woo hoo! I've got another cover story in the current (February 2014) issue of Sky & Telescope, in which I try to make sense of the Kuiper belt. This article was motivated by my observation that the discovery of many new things beyond Neptune had, through an ironic chain of events, resulted in our teaching children less about the solar system than we used to.

Blast from the past: Spirit sunrise panorama at Troy

Emily Lakdawalla • January 14, 2014

In honor of the 10th anniversary of Spirit's landing on Mars, here is a new view from near the end of that mission.

The Mists of Mars

Bill Dunford • December 09, 2013

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

Pretty picture: newly processed high-res view of a fractured icy moon, Dione

Emily Lakdawalla • December 04, 2013

Here's a lovely new view of Dione, one of the lovely mid-sized icy moons of Saturn, assembled by Daniel Macháček.

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