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Blog Archive


Spirit, seen from space

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/03/24 05:46 CDT

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.

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Opportunity watches the clouds drift by

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/02/12 04:11 CST

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 has put together some nifty animations of the wispy cloud patterns.

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Antares tours Saturn's rings

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/01/04 11:39 CST

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

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

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/11/26 04:38 CST

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.

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High tau for Spirit and Opportunity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/07/30 12:26 CDT

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.

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New Horizons sees Io erupting!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/02/27 11:15 CST

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!

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New Horizons' raw images are now online

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/01/23 04:58 CST

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.

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New Horizons spots Pluto!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/11/29 10:24 CST

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

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The Orbital Dance of Epimetheus and Janus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/02/07 11:00 CST

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.

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Animation from Cassini's approach to Dione

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/10/12 09:01 CDT

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.

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An animation of Itokawa from Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/09/07 01:45 CDT

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.

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Images from the August 2, 2005 MESSENGER Flyby of Earth

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/08/26 09:00 CDT

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

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