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Juno Flies By Earth Today
Closest approach at 12:21pm PDT / 19:21 UTC

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/10/09 12:17 CDT | 2 comments

NASA's Juno spacecraft gets a gravity assist from the Earth on its way to Jupiter today. Learn all about today's close approach.

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Juno's flying by Earth today, and images of the Moon are already on the ground!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/09 11:25 CDT | 1 comment

Juno flies past Earth for a gravity assist at 19:22 UTC today, and the first images from the encounter are already on the ground and processed by amateurs!

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On space kindness and the Chelyabinsk meteor

Posted by Vitaliy Egorov on 2013/10/04 07:04 CDT | 1 comment

Through an act of kindness, we now have images of the Chelyabinsk meteor trail from Russia's Elektro-L satellite.

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Relative and absolute ages in the histories of Earth and the Moon: The Geologic Time Scale

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/30 03:04 CDT | 1 comment

A few days ago, I wrote a post about the basins of the Moon -- a result of a trip down a rabbit hole of book research. Here's the next step in that journey: the Geologic Time Scales of Earth and the Moon.

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Caution: Spacecraft Under Construction
Visiting JPL's high bay clean room with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/08/20 10:39 CDT | 1 comment

Join Emily Lakdawalla and Mat Kaplan inside JPL's High Bay 1, where two Earth-revealing missions are being readied for launch.

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Beautiful science by Elektro-L

Posted by Vitaliy Egorov on 2013/08/08 03:54 CDT | 7 comments

Six months ago, I wrote about the Russian weather satellite Elektro-L, which has more than two years of successful experience in the geostationary orbit. Then I promised that I would be here to share the materials that we collected. I think it's time to deliver on the promise.

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Pretty picture: Looking backward

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/07/23 05:03 CDT | 15 comments

Here it is: the view from Saturn of our Earthly home, one and a half billion kilometers away. We see Earth and the Moon through a thin veil of faintly blue ice crystals, the outskirts of Saturn's E ring. Earth is just a bright dot -- a bit brighter than the other stars in the image, but no brighter than any planet (like Saturn!) in our own sky.

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Earth and Moon from MESSENGER

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/07/22 05:03 CDT | 3 comments

A new picture of the Earth-Moon system from MESSENGER, taken the same day we were told to "Wave at Saturn." Updated with a neat photo taken from much closer to Earth from a similar perspective.

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Return of the Pale Blue Dot
Join the Wave at Saturn (and Mercury)!

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/07/18 11:27 CDT | 4 comments

You can be part of a planetwide group photo as Cassini and MESSENGER turn their cameras Earthward on July 19.

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Dunes on Tatooine

Posted by Ralph Lorenz on 2013/07/17 01:13 CDT

The fictional world Tatooine, scene of action in the Star Wars movies, is named after a town in Tunisia, where parts of the movies were filmed. The desert backdrops against which the movies were filmed are real terrestrial landscapes, which prove to be perhaps unexpectedly dynamic.

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A rare clear day in Alaska

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/07/12 06:00 CDT | 3 comments

NASA recently shared a gloriously detailed image of an unusual clear day in Alaska as seen from the Terra satellite.

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Stationkeeping in Mars orbit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/06/27 10:55 CDT | 10 comments

It had never occurred to me to think about geostationary satellites in Mars orbit before reading a new paper by Juan Silva and Pilar Romero. The paper shows that it takes a lot more work to maintain a stationary orbit at an arbitrary longitude at Mars than it does at Earth.

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One Ocean World Among Many

Posted by Jim Bell on 2013/06/03 03:53 CDT | 6 comments

I'm absolutely floored when I stop to think that our beautiful blue ocean is only one of perhaps a half dozen or more oceans on other worlds in our solar system, and only one of probably millions (or more) oceans on other Earth-like planets in our galaxy. Oceans abound!

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No Place Like Home

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/04/21 03:07 CDT | 6 comments

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

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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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Pretty picture: a moon transit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/21 05:52 CST | 5 comments

A reader comment inspired me to dig up an oldie but a goodie: a sequence of photos of the Moon transiting Earth, seen from a very long way away,

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A forgotten image of Earth and the Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/13 07:45 CST | 4 comments

While researching another story, I came across an image I don't remember ever seeing before, of a moonrise from an unexpected source.

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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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Galileo Messengers: Cruise to Venus, Earth, Gaspra, Earth, Ida, and almost to Jupiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/05 08:40 CST | 2 comments

It's taken me a year to face the emotionally draining task of reading and writing about Galileo's cruise phase as chronicled in the mission's newsletters.

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