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Blog Archive


A Little Moonlight

Bill Dunford • June 19, 2013

From far away, or from so near you could almost touch it, the moon is beautiful.

Lesser-known views of Uranus and Neptune

Emily Lakdawalla • May 28, 2013

Despite the fact that Voyager 2 returned relatively few high-resolution images from either Uranus or Neptune, there are many more photos in the archives than regularly make it to public view.

Opportunity and Curiosity updates: Rolling and drilling and a little wear on the wheels

Emily Lakdawalla • May 20, 2013

For most of April, while Mars scuttled behind the Sun as seen from Earth, both Mars rovers were pretty inactive. Now that conjunction has ended, both are doing what rovers should be doing: roving and exploring. As of sol 3312 Opportunity had moved more than 300 meters southward toward Solander Point, while on her sol 279 Curiosity drilled at a second site, Cumberland.

Many More Colors than Red: Exploring Mars with Spectroscopy

Bill Dunford • May 20, 2013

Mars gives up its secrets through the unseen colors of its rocks.

Mimas and Pandora dance

Emily Lakdawalla • May 15, 2013

I've been out of town for a couple of days and am overwhelmed with work and an overflowing email box. So what do I do about that? I ignore what I'm supposed to be doing and play with Cassini raw image data, of course. Here is a "mutual event" of Mimas (the bigger moon) and Pandora (the outer shepherd of the F ring).

New Deep Impact Hartley 2 data set

Emily Lakdawalla • May 03, 2013

Just messing around with a recently released processed version of the Deep Impact Hartley 2 data set.

Dark No More: Exploring the Far Side of the Moon

Bill Dunford • April 29, 2013

The first human beings to see the mysterious "dark" side of the moon were not astronauts.

One of my favorite image processing tricks: colorizing images

Emily Lakdawalla • April 23, 2013

An easy image processing trick -- using lower-resolution color data to colorize a black-and-white photo -- is relied upon by many space missions to keep data volumes low. Here's how to do it.

No Place Like Home

Bill Dunford • April 21, 2013

Mars and Earth share a truly striking family resemblance, but there's no mistaking which one is home.

A walk among the mesas of Deuteronilus Mensae

Emily Lakdawalla • April 19, 2013

Enjoy some pretty pictures of some bizarre terrain on Mars: the mesas of Deuteronilus Mensae.

In a New Light

Bill Dunford • April 15, 2013

Cassini's unique views of Jupiter and Saturn.

Russia's Mars 3 lander maybe found by Russian amateurs

Emily Lakdawalla • April 12, 2013

Виталий Егоров (Vitaliy Egorov) is a Russian space enthusiast who enlisted help of fellow enthusiasts to search for -- and maybe find -- the Russian Mars 3 hardware on the Martian surface. Here he explains how he did it.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • April 09, 2013

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.

One Day in the Solar System

Bill Dunford • April 08, 2013

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

A Different Angle on Mars

Bill Dunford • March 25, 2013

A new slant on Martian landscapes from Mars Global Surveyor.

Messages of Wonder

Bill Dunford • March 18, 2013

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

The First Taste of Mars

Bill Dunford • March 11, 2013

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

The Stormscapes of Saturn

Bill Dunford • March 04, 2013

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

Galileo's images of Gaspra

Emily Lakdawalla • March 01, 2013

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

Mysterious Umbriel

Ted Stryk • February 28, 2013

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

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