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Blog Archive

 

Flawed Beauties

Bill Dunford • February 02, 2015

More examples of imperfect--but tantalizing--images from deep space.

A new map of Mars from some pretty old data

Emily Lakdawalla • March 04, 2014

The United States Geological Survey recently issued an improved version of the Viking color map of Mars. This 40-year-old data set still provides the prettiest global-scale map of the planet.

A Spin Through the Inner Solar System

Bill Dunford • February 24, 2014

Animated maps of the planets show the spheres in motion.

The Faces of Mars

Bill Dunford • February 03, 2014

Portraits of a planet.

Dry Ice Snowfall at the Poles of Mars

Paul Hayne • January 16, 2014

Paul Hayne takes a look at the mysterious polar caps of Mars, and what it would be like to ski there.

Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 5: Blues for a Red Planet

Casey Dreier • November 12, 2013

Episode 5 focuses on Mars, the planet that has stubbornly refused to conform to the wishes of humanity for hundreds of years, from Lowell to Sagan. Grab your cosmo and join our discussion of 'Blues for a Red Planet.'

Looking back at Mariner images of Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • September 03, 2013

Bruce Murray was an early advocate for the inclusion of cameras on planetary spacecraft. As a tribute to him, I thought I'd take a look at a few of the images from the early Mariner missions to Mars.

Mars, Old and New: A Personal View by Bruce Murray

Jennifer Vaughn • September 03, 2013

An interview with Bruce Murray from 2001 about his perspectives on Mars science and exploration: past, present, and future.

Terra Cognita

Bill Dunford • July 29, 2013

Pushing back the frontier, and filling in the blank spaces on the map.

The First Taste of Mars

Bill Dunford • March 11, 2013

Nearly four decades before Curiosity, we dug into Mars for the first time. The pictures are still amazing.

Blast from the past: Mariner 4's images of Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • December 10, 2012

While hunting for photos to use in a presentation, I came across a couple of different amateur takes on the Mariner 4 photo catalog.

Visiting Viking at Seattle's Museum of Flight

Tom Dahl • November 14, 2012

One of the nicest aerospace museums in the United States is the Museum of Flight, outside Seattle, Washington. I traveled cross-country in order to visit the "Flight Capsule 3" Viking lander, a backup unit that was never completed. Its partially built state exposes its internal structures, making it a boon to study.

Book Review: The International Atlas of Mars Exploration, by Phil Stooke

Emily Lakdawalla • October 12, 2012

I've been waiting for the publication of this book for years. Phil Stooke's International Atlas of Mars Exploration, just published by Cambridge University Press, is an exhaustively awesome labor of love, chronicling the first five decades of Mars exploration in pictures, maps, and facts.

A couple of gems from the archives

Emily Lakdawalla • September 10, 2012

We're still working on migrating content from the old to the new website. This week, that means I am looking, one by one, through some great amateur-processed space images.

A stunning view of Mars from Argyre to Thaumasia

Emily Lakdawalla • May 18, 2012

Image magician Daniel Machacek has done it again, producing a jaw-dropping view of Mars from Viking Orbiter 1, featuring a frosty Argyre basin and stretching across to a series of faults called Thaumasia Fossae.

Discouraging the search for Mars Polar Lander

Emily Lakdawalla • February 17, 2012

I'm not encouraging people to search individual images for the Mars Polar Lander anymore, for three reasons.

Mariner 9 approaching Mars: a movie!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 09, 2011

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Mariner 9's November 13, 1971 arrival at Mars, Daniel Macháček has produced a morphed animation of the images that Mars' first orbiter took while approaching the planet.

Mars Exploration Family Portrait

Emily Lakdawalla • November 23, 2011

Jason Davis put together this neat summary of the checkered history of Mars exploration.

Curiosity in context: Not exactly "Viking on wheels," but close

Emily Lakdawalla • November 21, 2011

As I was beginning my research for my two magazine articles on the Curiosity rover's upcoming mission to Mars, I needed to figure out for myself how exactly this gigantic, ungainly machine fit in to the context of past Martian missions.

Weekend watching: 3D Movie from Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • September 09, 2011

There's one Mars landed mission for which there is a long 3D film, and that's Viking. Grab your 3D glasses, and be prepared to be transported to Mars.

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