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Blog Archive

 

An evening that brought me very close to Curiosity

Posted by Damia Bouic on 2013/02/15 09:00 CST | 3 comments

Damien Bouic received some well-deserved recognition from the Chemcam team for his great Curiosity image processing work.

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Why can Hubble get detailed views of distant galaxies but not of Pluto?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/14 12:37 CST | 17 comments

How come Hubble's pictures of galaxies billions of light years away are so beautifully detailed, yet the pictures of Pluto, which is so much closer, are just little blobs? I get asked this question, or variations of it, a lot. Here's an explainer.

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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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Pretty picture: tessera terrain on Venus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/07 04:18 CST | 1 comment

In which I dive into the Magellan radar data set and come up with some images of an unusual and possibly unique solar system terrain: tessera.

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Venerable Deep Impact spacecraft has photographed comet ISON

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/05 05:24 CST | 6 comments

Deep Impact has made the first space-based observations of comet ISON.

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A new rover self-portrait and a new color image of Curiosity from orbit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/04 05:40 CST | 7 comments

Curiosity is inching her way through her first use of the drill on a Martian rock. She paused in the proceedings to capture a second Martian "selfie."

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Day Hikes in the Labyrinth of Night

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/02/04 10:02 CST

Noctis Labyrinthus on Mars is an amazing place for an imagined day hike, courtesy of images from Mars Express.

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Saturn's Hexagon Viewed from the Ground

Posted by Leigh Fletcher on 2013/02/01 05:49 CST | 2 comments

For the first time, amateur astronomers are capturing spectacular images of Saturn's bizarre north polar hexagon.

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Columbia, ten years on

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/01 11:47 CST

Remembering Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon on the tenth anniversary of the loss of the space shuttle Columbia.

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Pretty picture: Neptune and Triton

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/01 12:29 CST | 6 comments

On a lonely evening, what is one to do but to dip into archival space image data and surface with a gorgeous photo of a crescent Neptune and Triton?

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One of my favorite space images of all time: Rosetta was here

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/31 04:58 CST | 10 comments

A conversation on Twitter today reminded me of this photo, which is one of my all-time favorite space images: the view from Rosetta during its Mars flyby.

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Enceladus: A problem of contrast

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/30 07:00 CST | 6 comments

Time for my quarterly foray into the Cassini archival science data! The very first image I downloaded from the January 1, 2013 data release presented an interesting challenge to my image processing skill. I'll show you the pretty picture of Enceladus and then explain how I processed it.

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Curiosity update, sol 171: Placing the drill

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/29 11:11 CST | 1 comment

They're getting closer and closer to drilling. Curiosity now seems to be positioned in the spot where they plan to be when they execute that long-awaited first drill.

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Weather Report: Mars

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/01/28 10:00 CST | 5 comments

Just like on Earth, clouds and storms often ripple through the Martian atmosphere. You can even check the daily weather report.

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Introducing PlanetFour

Posted by Ganna (Anya) Portyankina on 2013/01/23 11:51 CST | 3 comments

The Mars I study is really active; the surface constantly changes. We have collected a lot of image data about changing seasonal features near the south pole. There is so much that we can't analyze all of it on our own. We need your help, through a new Zooniverse project named PlanetFour.

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Voyager 1 revisited: Io and Europa transiting Jupiter

Posted by Björn Jónsson on 2013/01/22 06:04 CST

What is the highest resolution global Jupiter mosaic that includes a satellite transit that can be assembled from Voyager images? Satellite transits are especially beautiful when the resolution is high enough for some details to be visible on the satellites so I decided to check this. And I was remarkably lucky.

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Stars, and stars, and stars: pretty pictures from the European Southern Observatory

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/21 03:39 CST | 4 comments

My solar system chauvinism is well-established, but I am as much a sucker for beautiful astrophotos as the rest of you. Once in a while I get a media advisory from the European Southern Observatory about a new pretty picture posted on their website, and then I inevitably lose an hour following links to one stunner after another.

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More Chang'E 2 Toutatis flyby images

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/20 09:52 CST | 6 comments

Last week at a meeting of NASA's Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG), Han Li of the Chinese Academy of Sciences gave a lengthy presentation on Chang'E 2. Her presentation included a new sequence of photos from the December 13 Toutatis flyby.

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