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Blog Archive


The scale of our solar system

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/02 11:26 CDT has taken advantage of the infinitely scrollable nature of Web pages to produce a really cool infographic on the scales of orbital distances in the solar system.

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Pretty picture: Viking 1 across Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/09 10:10 CST

Image magician Daniel Macháček has been turning his energies to Viking Orbiter views of Mars lately, with some stunning results, like the one below. I'm not sure how he makes images that look so sharp and clean and with such rich color out of the Viking Orbiter data.

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Phobos Photobomb

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/15 12:48 CST

Don't blink when you play the video below -- it's only 15 seconds long, but it's so cool.

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Jaded by Mars Organics

Posted by Ryan Anderson on 2010/09/11 04:35 CDT

So, you may have heard the news making the rounds last week that a new analysis of the Viking data suggests there may actually be organics and (dare I even say it?) life on Mars! Yawn. Consider me underwhelmed.

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Sunrise on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/23 10:50 CDT

Here is a photo crafted from data that are nearly as old as I am, showing a beautiful sunrise on Mars.

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Spirit: Schrödinger's Rover

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/28 12:01 CDT

Either Spirit is the longest-lived landed Mars mission ever, or she is not. We won't know for certain unless we manage to observe a radio signal from her.

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Buttoning up the Mars Orbiter Camera science investigation

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/15 04:21 CST

The science team for Mars Orbiter Camera, or "MOC" (pronounced "mock") has just published a paper that attempts to summarize an investigation that spanned more than two decades.

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Mapping Mars, now and in history

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/02/26 04:23 CST

Planetary cartographer Phil Stooke has been working on a cool project to compose and compare maps of Mars that show how we saw the planet throughout the Space Age.

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Another longevity milestone for Spirit and Opportunity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/12/29 05:03 CST

We're getting close to the fifth anniversary of the landings of Spirit and Opportunity, but was we approach that milestone, we're passing another. I've been told that as of yesterday, Spirit and Opportunity have operated on Mars for a combined length of time that is longer than the combined number of sols that the twin Viking landers operated.

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Opportunity's got a long road ahead

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/09/19 05:03 CDT

Mars Exploration Rover principal investigator Steve Squyres announced on National Public Radio's Science Friday show the next goal for Opportunity, and it's a long, long, long way away: a huge crater about 12 kilometers southeast of its current location, which the team is referring to internally as "Endeavour."

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White Rock through the ages: Viking (1976-1980)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/02/13 01:10 CST

This is the second installment in my look at one enigmatic feature on Mars as seen by all its orbiters through the more than thirty years of spacecraft observations.

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White Rock through the ages: Mariner 9, 1972

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/02/08 02:31 CST

While conversing with Ken Edgett about the smiley face on Mars he remarked to me how different Mars looks at different pixel scales, and in particular that there is a transition somewhere in the neighborhood of six to seven meters per pixel.

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The dust storm has brought gloom to Opportunity's skies, but everything is OK

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/07/10 11:09 CDT

Opportunity has ceased operations for a couple of days because the amount of sunlight available is low due to an unpredicted dust storm.

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