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Some beautiful video from the Spirit and Opportunity landing sites

Emily Lakdawalla • May 12, 2008

A majority of the people who work in planetary geology are usually associated with one or maybe two missions, doing all their research on the results from one instrument on one mission. But there are a few people whose expertise cuts across many space missions, and an even smaller number of people who seem to work on almost everything. Randy Kirk is one of those people.

Shadows cast from Victoria's capes and bays

Emily Lakdawalla • April 14, 2008

This is from the "just plain cool" department: An animation of the shadows of Victoria Crater as seen by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, courtesy of Doug Ellison.

Spirit, seen from space

Emily Lakdawalla • March 24, 2008

The HiRISE instrument on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter really is a spy camera in space. Check out this sequence of nine images from the HiRISE archives, which Doug Ellison pulled together into an animation covering more than a year of Spirit's mission.

Opportunity watches the clouds drift by

Emily Lakdawalla • February 12, 2008

Opportunity is now following a rather leisurely autumn schedule, according to the latest update on the mission website. Some of the work Opportunity is doing involves staring skyward, looking for patterns in the clouds that pass overhead at this time of year. One of the guys at unmannedspaceflight.com has put together some nifty animations of the wispy cloud patterns.

Antares tours Saturn's rings

Emily Lakdawalla • January 04, 2008

Antares dims and brightens as it passes behind the rings as seen from Cassini in this animation.

"Return of the Falcon," a new animation of the Hayabusa mission

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2007

JAXA has released a 30-minute video of the Hayabusa mission, "Return of the Falcon," combining computer animation with actual footage of the construction and launch as well as images from the spacecraft of Itokawa.

High tau for Spirit and Opportunity

Emily Lakdawalla • July 30, 2007

Over the weekend I fiddled with the "tau" images that Mars Exploration Rover Pancam lead Jim Bell gave me, and I produced a couple of different ways to visualize the darkness of the rovers' skies.

Dione's south pole

Emily Lakdawalla • April 09, 2007

Cassini got a nice "Voyager-class" view of Saturn's moon Dione yesterday, passing about 250,000 kilometers from the moon's south pole.

New Horizons sees Io erupting!

Emily Lakdawalla • February 27, 2007

There were two new pictures posted on the New Horizons Science Operations Center website this morning, of Io, and if you enhance the images a bit, there are two clear volcanic plumes visible on the limb -- Tvashtar and Prometheus are active!

A new way to darken Iapetus

Emily Lakdawalla • February 21, 2007

Iapetus is one of the many fascinating bodies in the Saturn system.

A cool Cassini ring plane crossing animation

Emily Lakdawalla • January 26, 2007

Another recent, cool set of images that came down from Cassini was a series taken last week as the spacecraft crossed the ring plane.

New Horizons' raw images are now online

Emily Lakdawalla • January 23, 2007

I got an email from John Spencer this morning telling me that the mission had posted all of New Horizons' most recently acquired images on the mission website.

New Horizons spots Pluto!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 29, 2006

Yesterday the New Horizons team released a flicker animation showing the spacecraft's first sight of Pluto, using the LORRI long-range imaging instrument.

The official publication on the second Titan RADAR swath is out

Emily Lakdawalla • June 07, 2006

Today Nature published an article titled "Titan Radar Mapper observations from Cassini's T3 fly-by."

The Orbital Dance of Epimetheus and Janus

Emily Lakdawalla • February 07, 2006

Saturn is surrounded by a crowded family of rings and moons, and two of those moons -- Epimetheus and Janus -- orbit Saturn so close together that it seems as though their different orbital speeds should make them crash into each other.

Cassini, Day By Day

Emily Lakdawalla • January 02, 2006

I've just resurrected a feature on the site that has been lost since our redesign: the "Cassini, Day By Day" pages.

Animation from Cassini's approach to Dione

Emily Lakdawalla • October 12, 2005

The images from Cassini's Dione encounter yesterday have started coming back, and there is a really cool set of 16 pictures of Dione and Rhea.

An animation of Itokawa from Hayabusa

Emily Lakdawalla • September 07, 2005

This lovely animation of Itokawa represents 20 individual images taken between 18:10 on September 5 and 00:30 on September 6, from a distance of less than 700 kilometers away.

Images from the August 2, 2005 MESSENGER Flyby of Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • August 26, 2005

On August 2, 2005, MESSENGER flew by Earth at an altitude of a mere 2,347 kilometers above Mongolia.

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