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Blog Archive

 

Chang'E 2 imaging of Toutatis succeeded beyond my expectations!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/14 05:59 CST | 19 comments

The Chang'E 2 mission flyby of Toutatis succeeded in acquiring images. Oh my goodness, did they succeed. These, in combination with the incredible radar images still being acquired from Goldstone and innumerable optical observations, make Toutatis one of the best-studied asteroids in the solar system.

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

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/10 09:15 CST | 5 comments

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

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Asteroid 4179 Toutatis' upcoming encounters with Earth and Chang'E 2

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/06 12:19 CST | 6 comments

Near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis will be passing within 7 million kilometers of Earth on December 12. Both radio telescopes and the Chang'E 2 spacecraft will be acquiring images.

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Images from the long-awaited Dawn Vesta data set

Posted by Daniel Macháček on 2012/11/29 11:55 CST | 4 comments

A few days ago, the Dawn mission finally published their archival data. During the year of delay I often looked with anticipation to the Planetary Data System to check whether or not images were there, and I am delighted that they are finally available. Was the wait worth it? Definitely!

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That amazing image of Saturn's north pole just got better: now, it moves!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/28 11:27 CST | 2 comments

Remember the amazing photo of Saturn's north pole that I posted yesterday? Now, thanks to an amateur image processor, it moves, and the motions of the individual clouds within the belts are mesmerizing.

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Staring into Saturn's baleful eye

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/27 11:12 CST | 12 comments

Amazing photos have just come back from Cassini, of swirling clouds surrounding Saturn's north pole.

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Pretty Picture: Curiosity on the edge of a geologist's paradise

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/26 03:11 CST | 1 comments

On Saturday, while parked for the Thanksgiving holiday at the edge of Glenelg, Curiosity took a lovely panorama pointed to the east and into Glenelg.

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Nifty animation: Dust in the air for Curiosity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/21 11:21 CST

An animation of Curiosity photos shows changes in the weather.

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Dawn Vesta Data is publicly available (for real this time!)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/16 07:08 CST | 2 comments

After a false start earlier this year, the first chunk of Dawn Framing Camera data from Vesta has finally made it to the Planetary Data System. As a first step to understanding the data set, I've built some index pages to these cool images.

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Pretty picture: Landsat view of southern Greenland

Posted by Björn Jónsson on 2012/11/13 05:24 CST

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.

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Beautiful butterfly crater on Mars (another HiWish granted!)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/08 07:16 CST | 6 comments

I asked Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to take a photo, and it turned out better than I had imagined: an incredibly fresh, well-preserved, dramatically rayed oblique impact crater.

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Watching the slow shift of seasons on Titan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/06 02:45 CST | 1 comments

A sharp-eyed amateur noticed two images of Titan taken 20 months apart from nearly exactly the same perspective, and they illustrate how the shifting of Saturn's seasons has brought change to Titan's atmosphere.

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Making an ugly rock beautiful

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/02 08:03 CDT | 1 comments

Today I stumbled upon the Lunar and Planetary Institute's Lunar Sample Atlas, and was reminded of how much I love petrographic thin sections. They can make unassuming, cruddy looking rocks beautiful.

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Huge self-portrait of Curiosity on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/01 07:27 CDT | 9 comments

Curiosity used MAHLI, the scientific camera at the end of the robotic arm, to shoot a huge color portrait of herself sitting on Mars, with Gale's central mountain in the background.

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Getting up to speed with Curiosity as of sol 84, and two awesome mosaics

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/31 07:39 CDT | 6 comments

Curiosity has already spent more than three weeks at Rocknest, working through the very slow process of commissioning the sample handling systems. While parked, she's taken a couple of amazing photo mosaics.

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Hurricane Sandy: Thanks for lives saved already

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/29 11:32 CDT

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.

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A huge color global view of Dione

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/23 02:33 CDT

From the Cassini data archives comes a huge (5000 pixels square!) color image of Saturn's icy moon Dione, worth investigating from both near and far.

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Pretty panoramas: Curiosity's scenic views of distant hills

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/11 07:37 CDT | 3 comments

The landscapes that surround Curiosity are picture-postcard beautiful.

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Pretty picture: Late afternoon in Gale Crater

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/09 05:36 CDT | 3 comments

Curiosity shot a lovely panoramic view of the distant rim of Gale crater in the dramatic lighting of late afternoon on sol 49. Damien Bouic has colorized it, and it is beautiful.

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Happy Cassini PDS Release Day!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/08 01:00 CDT | 2 comments

It's a quarterly feast day for me: the day that the Cassini mission delivers three months' worth of data to NASA's Planetary Data System. Here's a few images processed from the October 1, 2012 data release.

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