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Earth and Moon from MESSENGER

Emily Lakdawalla • July 22, 2013

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.

Return of the Pale Blue Dot

Mat Kaplan • July 18, 2013

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

Dunes on Tatooine

Ralph Lorenz • July 17, 2013

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.

A rare clear day in Alaska

Emily Lakdawalla • July 12, 2013

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

Stationkeeping in Mars orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • June 27, 2013

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.

One Ocean World Among Many

Jim Bell • June 03, 2013

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!

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.

Messages of Wonder

Bill Dunford • March 18, 2013

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

Pretty picture: a moon transit

Emily Lakdawalla • February 21, 2013

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,

A forgotten image of Earth and the Moon

Emily Lakdawalla • February 13, 2013

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

The Earth is a Planet: Why We Explore Space

Bill Dunford • February 11, 2013

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.

Browsing Landsat data is a lot easier than I thought it was

Emily Lakdawalla • February 08, 2013

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • February 05, 2013

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.

Pretty picture: Landsat view of southern Greenland

Björn Jónsson • November 13, 2012

This is a very large (19000 pixels square) mosaic of the fjords and glaciers of southern Greenland. I had been interested for a long time in experimenting with the processing of Earth satellite imagery just to get a comparison to the other planets.

Hurricane Sandy: Thanks for lives saved already

Emily Lakdawalla • October 29, 2012

Today hurricane Sandy is a major threat to life and property across the west coast of the northern Atlantic ocean. I just want to give thanks in advance to all the people who have devoted their careers to making sure that Americans have sufficient warning of devastating, unstoppable weather events like this one.

Birth of a New Moon

Emily Lakdawalla • July 05, 2012

As astronaut Don Pettit prepared for his return to Earth, he tweeted several beautiful shots from the Space Station.

Talking Climate With Bill Nye

Mat Kaplan • July 03, 2012

Talk about changing climates on this world and others brought 600 people to the Boulder Theater.

A solar eclipse - as viewed from the Moon

Emily Lakdawalla • May 28, 2012

A solar eclipse isn't just a spiffy sight to Earthlings; it looks pretty cool to lunar dwellers as well.

More Evidence for Impact Origin for Colombia’s Vichada Structure

Bruce Betts • May 08, 2012

Evidence continues to pile up that the Rio Vichada structure in Colombia is indeed the largest impact structure in South America.

Examining India's new RISAT 1 Earth observation satellite

Jason Davis • May 02, 2012

Last week, India launched RISAT 1, a new Earth-observing satellite. How does its synthetic aperture radar compare to that of Envisat, which has fallen silent?

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