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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.

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.

Fabulous Dawn Vesta images and rotation movie!!

Emily Lakdawalla • August 01, 2011

Now that Dawn's close enough to Vesta, we're seeing absolutely spectacular detail and tremendous diversity across Vesta's surface. As usual it'll probably take me a while to bring together all the new information, so as a stopgap I'm going to post an awesome image and a rotation movie.

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.

Lots of great stuff in the latest Cassini data release

Emily Lakdawalla • April 13, 2011

I've got some lovely pictures from Saturn to show you! Every three months, the Cassini mission dumps gigabytes worth of precious Saturn data into the Planetary Data System, and the latest gift came on April 1. This particular pile of data, which was taken between April 1 and June 30, 2010, contains a lot of really terrific moon observations.

Lovely giant full Moon photo

Emily Lakdawalla • April 01, 2011

Here's a photo worthy of hanging on the wall: a gorgeous, 4000-pixel-square portrait of the full Moon captured by Rolf Hempel from Germany on the night of the "Supermoon."

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.

Io and Jupiter from Voyager 1

Emily Lakdawalla • January 31, 2011

Here's an image I've been meaning to post for months, a new mosaic from Voyager 1 by Ted Stryk of Io crossing Jupiter's terminator as it neared closest approach.

Mars Express' January 2011 Phobos images show how camera works

Emily Lakdawalla • January 21, 2011

The Mars Express High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) team has just released several images from the most recent series of Phobos flybys to the Mars Express blog.

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.

Goodies from the January 11 Rhea flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • January 12, 2011

Cassini got some incredibly tricky shots during its January 11 Rhea flyby!

Happy 2011, and an end to the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • January 01, 2011

Welcome 2011! I can't wait for what this year has in store. The prize for all of you who have enjoyed opening each door in the Planetary Society's 2010 advent calendar is one of the best views we can get of one of the biggest objects in the asteroid belt, Vesta.

Bye bye, Kodachrome, but "Kodak moments" will live on in space

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2010

This week is the end for Kodachrome film. It's a casualty of the digital revolution.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Small Worlds

Emily Lakdawalla • December 27, 2010

Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Small Worlds, about the smaller denizens of the solar system visited in the past year, and due to be visited in the next.

Mimas wanders in to view

Emily Lakdawalla • December 21, 2010

Cassini's busy downlinking photos from yesterday's close pass by Enceladus, including some neat shots of Dione and this one where Mimas skipped briefly in to the field of view.

Jupiter's outbreak is spreading

Emily Lakdawalla • November 22, 2010

Jupiter, always a pretty sight in the sky, is now worth visiting every day; the "outbreak" that heralds the return of Jupiter's formerly red, now fadedsouth equatorial belt is expanding and multiplying.

Deep Impact at Hartley 2: Two weeks after the flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2010

Today the Deep Impact/EPOXI science team held a press briefing that followed up on their very successful flyby of two weeks ago, a status report on what they can say so far about the science that's coming out of the encounter.

Asteroids and comets to scale, including Hartley 2

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2010

Just in time for today's Deep Impact press briefing, which you can watch on NASA TV in a few minutes: I've updated my montage of all the asteroids and comets that have been visited and photographed to include Hartley 2.

An awesome animation of Jupiter's clouds

Emily Lakdawalla • November 09, 2010

Ready to see something beautiful? Here's a team effort by Björn Jónsson and Ian Regan to create a really mesmerizing view of the motions of Jupiter's clouds.

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