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Blog Archive


Blast from the Past: Spirit's tracks at the "End of the Rainbow"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/04/09 09:05 CDT | 3 comments

Doug Ellison shared this lovely panorama via Twitter over the weekend. It's from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, taken back in 2004. The drunken path in the foreground is a visual record of just how exciting it was for Spirit to have finally made it to the Columbia Hills, and to rocks that were not fragments of basalt.

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One Day in the Solar System

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/04/08 09:12 CDT | 4 comments

Dispatches from five different worlds--all sent by robotic spacecraft on the same day.

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A Different Angle on Mars

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/03/25 11:53 CDT

A new slant on Martian landscapes from Mars Global Surveyor.

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Messages of Wonder

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/03/18 04:22 CDT

Some lovely, rarely-seen images from the MESSENGER mission.

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The First Taste of Mars

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/03/11 10:53 CDT | 3 comments

Nearly four decades before Curiosity, we dug into Mars for the first time. The pictures are still amazing.

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The Stormscapes of Saturn

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/03/04 12:25 CST | 2 comments

Look past the rings, and Saturn is even stranger--and more breathtaking.

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Galileo's images of Gaspra

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/01 06:43 CST | 2 comments

Last week I trawled the archives to find all of Galileo's images of asteroid Ida; this week, I turned to Gaspra.

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Mysterious Umbriel

Posted by Ted Stryk on 2013/02/28 12:59 CST | 1 comments

Presenting a newly-processed version of Voyager 2's best images of Uranus' moon Umbriel.

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Postcards from Clementine

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/02/25 12:44 CST | 4 comments

Nineteen years ago this month, the Clementine mission sent some amazing views from the moon.

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Galileo got so many more images of Ida than I realized

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/22 04:14 CST | 1 comments

While writing up the cruise-phase issues of the Galileo Messenger a couple of weeks ago, I came across a fuzzy montage of images of Ida that I had not seen before. So I decided to spend some time digging into the Planetary Data System to see if there were more images to be found. I found lots and lots pictures that I'd never seen before!

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Arc of Ice and Light

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/02/18 10:20 CST | 2 comments

When the sunlight catches it just right, Saturn's F Ring is something to see.

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An evening that brought me very close to Curiosity

Posted by Damia Bouic on 2013/02/15 09:00 CST | 3 comments

Damien Bouic received some well-deserved recognition from the Chemcam team for his great Curiosity image processing work.

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The Earth is a Planet: Why We Explore Space

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/02/11 10:50 CST

Why spend effort and scarce resources on space exploration when we have so many problems here at home? Turns out, there are some pretty good reasons.

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Browsing Landsat data is a lot easier than I thought it was

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/08 05:05 CST | 2 comments

With the Landsat Data Continuity Mission scheduled to launch on Monday, there's been a lot of Tweeting about Landsat, and through one such Tweet I learned about a resource that I hadn't known existed before: the LandsatLook Viewer. This is a graphical interface to more than a decade worth of Landsat data, a tremendous resource for anyone interested in Earth's changing surface, natural or manmade.

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Pretty picture: tessera terrain on Venus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/07 04:18 CST | 1 comments

In which I dive into the Magellan radar data set and come up with some images of an unusual and possibly unique solar system terrain: tessera.

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A new rover self-portrait and a new color image of Curiosity from orbit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/04 05:40 CST | 7 comments

Curiosity is inching her way through her first use of the drill on a Martian rock. She paused in the proceedings to capture a second Martian "selfie."

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Day Hikes in the Labyrinth of Night

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/02/04 10:02 CST

Noctis Labyrinthus on Mars is an amazing place for an imagined day hike, courtesy of images from Mars Express.

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Saturn's Hexagon Viewed from the Ground

Posted by Leigh Fletcher on 2013/02/01 05:49 CST | 2 comments

For the first time, amateur astronomers are capturing spectacular images of Saturn's bizarre north polar hexagon.

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Pretty picture: Neptune and Triton

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/01 12:29 CST | 6 comments

On a lonely evening, what is one to do but to dip into archival space image data and surface with a gorgeous photo of a crescent Neptune and Triton?

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Enceladus: A problem of contrast

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/30 07:00 CST | 6 comments

Time for my quarterly foray into the Cassini archival science data! The very first image I downloaded from the January 1, 2013 data release presented an interesting challenge to my image processing skill. I'll show you the pretty picture of Enceladus and then explain how I processed it.

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