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Pretty pictures & movies: Eye candy from two recent Cassini Enceladus flybys

Emily Lakdawalla • October 20, 2011

Cassini has completed two very close flybys of Enceladus in less than three weeks, one of them just this morning, and the images from that encounter have already arrived on Earth.

Pretty pictures: Dancing moons

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2011

Since Cassini currently orbits Saturn within the plane of Saturn's rings, it has lots of chances to catch two or more moons in the same photo. One such "mutual event" happened on September 17, featuring four moons: Titan, Dione, Pan, and Pandora.

Video: Zooming around Vesta

Emily Lakdawalla • September 16, 2011

The Dawn team released today a nice little video that flies around a shape model of Vesta produced by DLR, the German Aerospace Corporation, who built and operate Dawn's camera.

The Making of Martian Clouds in Motion: Part 1, working with Mars Express HRSC data

Emily Lakdawalla • August 22, 2011

Last Friday I posted an awesome video of Martian clouds in motion. This week I'll tell you how I made it. The how-to is split up into two parts. The first, today, is how to access Mars Express HRSC image data and process it into the individual animation frames, from which you can make an animated GIF.

Martian clouds in motion

Emily Lakdawalla • August 19, 2011

Behold an amazing (if I do say so myself) video of Martian clouds in motion.

Comet Garradd in 3D (sort of)

Emily Lakdawalla • August 12, 2011

Amateur astronomer Patrick Wiggins sent me this neat little animation of comet Garradd moving against background stars through an hour's worth of observing. I'm not any kind of astronomer but if I were I think I would get a kick out of looking at things that appear to move within one night of watching -- asteroids, comets, Jupiter's spots. I'm impatient that way.

Pretty picture: five moons for Cassini

Emily Lakdawalla • August 03, 2011

Explaining how to combine the red, green and blue images from a recent Cassini image session containing five of Saturn's moons: Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and Rhea.

What I see in the first high-res Dawn images of Vesta

Emily Lakdawalla • August 02, 2011

I had to wait until the kids were in bed and the husband fed last night before I finally had time to sit down and really look at the Dawn images of Vesta. And I still hardly knew where to begin. This brand new world is just so different than others I've seen.

Mountains rising for Opportunity

Emily Lakdawalla • July 31, 2011

The views from Opportunity of Endeavour's near and distant rim peaks are getting ever more vertical as Opportunity approaches Cape York.

Pretty movie: Everything in the Saturn system is in motion!

Emily Lakdawalla • July 26, 2011

A few weeks ago a producer for a public television space documentary asked me if I knew of any cool Cassini animations and my answer was, "Ooh, what a great excuse to have some fun digging around in the Cassini data archives." Here is the most fun animation I came up with in response to the request.

Vesta does a Hyperion impression

Emily Lakdawalla • July 21, 2011

Maybe it's my own peculiar variant of pareidolia, but every time I see a new image of Vesta I'm reminded of some different other lumpy body in the solar system. In the image released just now by the Dawn team, taken from 10,500 kilometers away, I'm seeing Hyperion.

Cassini animations: Rhea and Dione and Titan

Emily Lakdawalla • June 28, 2011

I've been mucking about in the Cassini data archives (as I often do when procrastinating) and unearthed a neat, if short, mutual event sequence of two crescent moons passing by each other.

Cassini finally catches Helene

Emily Lakdawalla • June 20, 2011

Cassini has finally achieved gorgeous global imaging of Helene with a spectacular flyby on Saturday, in which they got Helene to pose prettily for the camera from beginning to end of the encounter. And what a wacky, wacky world Cassini has revealed Helene to be!!

Some recent pictures of Saturn's northern storm

Emily Lakdawalla • February 07, 2011

There is a huge storm that's spreading across so much of Saturn that it's been readily visible even from Earth-based telescopes. Over the past couple of days a couple of new images of Saturn have appeared that show just how enormous the storm is today.

Animation of Phobos rotating from recent Mars Express flyby images

Emily Lakdawalla • January 25, 2011

Daniel Macháček has colorized some terrific images of Phobos and run them through some morphing software to make a seamless animation that appears to show Phobos rotating before you.

Two fine color Cassini animations: Prometheus rotating, Tethys and Dione dancing

Emily Lakdawalla • January 20, 2011

Daniel Macháček has reached into the dark side of Prometheus and pulled out an incredible amount of detail where the potato-shaped moon is illuminated by Saturnshine. He produced an animation that morphs among the three sets of four-filter color images that Cassini snapped during the flyby.

2010 JL33: How to see an asteroid from quite a long way away

Emily Lakdawalla • January 13, 2011

A terrific set of Goldstone radar images of a good-sized near-Earth asteroids named 2010 JL33 was posted to the JPL website yesterday. They also posted a movie version but something about these pixelated radar image series absolutely begs for them to be displayed as an old-school animated GIF, so I made one.

Solar eclipses from space: Hinode and SDO

Emily Lakdawalla • January 06, 2011

Two spacecraft that keep their ever-watchful eyes on the Sun -- NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and JAXA's Hinode -- were doing their thing, when something large wandered past: the Moon.

Sunset and eclipse on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • January 05, 2011

These two movies were posted to the JPL website a couple of weeks ago, and they are just amazing.

How Mars Express' orbit shifts with time

Emily Lakdawalla • January 04, 2011

While I was writing yesterday's blog entry on Mars Express' Phobos flybys I realized that I didn't understand Mars Express' orbit very well. So I sent an inquiry to the Mars Express blog, which they answered in a blog entry today.

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