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Curiosity update, sols 1166-1217: First reconnaissance of Bagnold dunes

Emily Lakdawalla • January 07, 2016

In the six weeks since my last detailed Curiosity update, the rover has driven to, on, and around a couple of active barchan sand dunes on Mars. They are now searching for a site to scoop and sample sand on the western edge of Namib dune.

Dawn Journal: Science on Ceres

Marc Rayman • January 01, 2016

The Dawn mission is developing humankind’s most intimate portrait ever of a dwarf planet. Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman returns with his monthly update on the mission's progress.

Two epic photos of Earth -- but which one is truer?

Emily Lakdawalla • December 29, 2015

Two images of Earth taken from different spacecraft at the same time illustrate differences in "true" color imaging among spacecraft.

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Distant Galaxies

Adam Block • December 24, 2015

Astrophotographer Adam Block shares stunning his images of far-away spiral galaxies.

For the first time ever, a Curiosity Mastcam self-portrait from Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • December 22, 2015

In a remarkable and wholly unexpected gift to Curiosity fans, the rover has just taken the first-ever color Mastcam self-portrait from Mars.

December solstice: Viewing Earth's seasonal shifts from space

Emily Lakdawalla • December 22, 2015

It's fun to watch the seasons shift from space, and as of this year we have new ways to do that.

Worth the wait: First public release of Rosetta science camera images of comet 67P

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2015

Finally! It has been a long wait, but so worth it: the Rosetta OSIRIS science camera team has delivered the first pile of data from the rendezvous with comet 67P to ESA's Planetary Science Archive. I have spent a good chunk of the last three days playing with the data, and it's spectacular.

A Rosetta OSIRIS picture of comet 67P that's only hours old

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2015

ESA announced today a new website at which the OSIRIS team will now be releasing images on a regular basis -- at least one per week -- and they will be recent. Even better news, all OSIRIS data taken through September 16, 2014 has been handed to ESA and its release is expected next week.

Colors in Planetary Imaging

Travis Rector • December 08, 2015

When looking at an image of, say, a galaxy, have you ever wondered to yourself, “Is this real?” Trevor Rector explains how astronomical images are processed.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Björn Jónsson • December 07, 2015

On the 20th anniversary of Galileo's orbit insertion around Jupiter, amateur image processor Björn Jónsson shares some of the mission's first images of Jupiter's iconic massive storm.

Hayabusa2 views Earth and the Moon on approach to December 3 flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • December 01, 2015

I just love photos of Earth from planetary missions -- especially if they manage to get Earth and Moon in the same shot, as Hayabusa2 did on November 26.

Blue Origin Lands Spent Suborbital Rocket Stage in Texas

Jason Davis • November 24, 2015

Secretive spaceflight company Blue Origin flew its New Shepard launch vehicle to the edge of space, deployed a suborbital spacecraft and returned the spent booster rocket to Earth for an upright landing.

Watch the entire Cassini mission image catalog as a movie

Emily Lakdawalla • November 20, 2015

If you were to download the entire catalog of photos taken at Saturn to date by Cassini and then animate them like a flipbook, how long would it take to watch them all pass by? The Wall Street Journal's Visual Correspondent Jon Keegan has your answer: nearly four hours.

Two JAXA mission updates: Akatsuki Venus orbit entry and PROCYON Earth flyby coming up!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 19, 2015

Akatsuki is finally approaching its second attempt to enter Venus orbit, on December 7; let's all wish JAXA the best of luck! And PROCYON, whose ion engines have failed, is still an otherwise perfectly functional spacecraft that is taking photos of Earth and the Moon as it approaches for a flyby.

DPS 2015: A little science from Rosetta, beyond perihelion

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2015

Updated numbers for physical properties of the comet, and a few interesting images of surface features and surface changes on Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Curiosity update, sols 1109-1165: Drilling at Big Sky and Greenhorn, onward to Bagnold Dunes

Emily Lakdawalla • November 16, 2015

Since my last update, Curiosity drilled two new holes, at Big Sky and Greenhorn, and is now approaching Bagnold Dunes.

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Lesser-Known Beauty

Adam Block • November 13, 2015

Award-winning astrophotographer Adam Block shares stunning images of a few rarely-imaged pieces of our universe.

A Day in the Solar System: 28 October 2015

Bill Dunford • November 09, 2015

On October 28th, the Cassini spacecraft flew through the geyser plume of Saturn's moon Enceladus. But Cassini was not the only spacecraft operating in the solar system that day.

Jupiter Weather Report: 2014/15 Apparition

Leigh Fletcher • November 05, 2015

A summary of Jupiter's changing face as seen from Earth during its 2014/2015 apparition.

ESA mission updates

Emily Lakdawalla • November 04, 2015

There have been several important pieces of news about European missions in the last month: Rosetta's fate has been determined; ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's launch is slightly delayed; and they have selected a landing site for the ExoMars rover.

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