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A Workhorse at Mars

Tanya Harrison • September 11, 2015

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) is almost a silent star at Mars. The latest MRO data release brought the total number of available CTX images to over 70,000, covering well over 90% of the Red Planet at a stunning resolution of 6 meters per pixel.

Pretty Pictures: Downlink of the Full New Horizons Data Set Has Begun

Emily Lakdawalla • September 10, 2015

New Horizons has begun the long process of downlinking all the images it acquired during its July Pluto flyby.

Pretty Picture: A Sweeping View of the Martian South Pole

Jason Davis • September 10, 2015

The European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft captured a sweeping view of Mars' south pole, along with a region extending northward to Hellas Basin.

Dawn Ceres image bonanza: Grab your 3D glasses!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 09, 2015

For months, Dawn has been steadily, methodically sharing dozens of images of brand-new sights of a previously unexplored icy world. For the last couple of days I've been making up for lost time, completely buried in the Dawn Ceres images, and I have some maps and 3D anaglyphs to share with you.

Dropping Orion in the Desert: NASA Completes Key Parachute Test

Jason Davis • August 27, 2015

NASA’s Orion spacecraft completed a key parachute test Aug. 26 at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona.

Three space fan visualizations of New Horizons' Pluto-Charon flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • August 25, 2015

It has been a difficult wait for new New Horizons images, but the wait is almost over; Alan Stern announced at today's Outer Planets Advisory Group meeting that image downlink will resume September 5. In the meantime, a few space fans are making the most of the small amount of data that has been returned to date.

Galileo's best pictures of Jupiter's ringmoons

Emily Lakdawalla • August 24, 2015

People often ask me to produce one of my scale-comparison montages featuring the small moons of the outer solar system. I'd love to do that, but Galileo's best images of Jupiter's ringmoons lack detail compared to Cassini's images from Saturn.

Dawn Journal: Mapping Ceres

Marc Rayman • August 22, 2015

More than two centuries after its discovery, Ceres is being mapped in great detail by the Dawn spacecraft. Chief Engineer and Mission Director Marc Rayman gives an update on Dawn's progress.

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Long Exposures

Adam Block • August 21, 2015

Astrophotographer Adam Block brings us images showcasing beauty in details requiring extended exposures to capture.

Roving Mars—In Utah

Bill Dunford • August 19, 2015

Students gather in the desert to answer the University Rover Challenge, pushing the limits of the tech that will drive future Mars exploration.

The story behind Curiosity's self-portraits on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • August 19, 2015

How and why does Curiosity take self-portraits? A look at some of the people and stories behind Curiosity's "selfies" on the occasion of the official release of the sol 1065 belly pan self-portrait at Buckskin, below Marias Pass, Mars.

SLS Engine Roars through Flight Test in Mississippi

Jason Davis • August 13, 2015

NASA completed the sixth and next-to-last test firing of its RS-25 engine Thursday in Mississippi. Four RS-25 engines power the Space Launch System core stage.

ESA's cool new interactive comet visualization tool based on amateur imaging work with open data

Emily Lakdawalla • August 13, 2015

A terrific new visualization tool for comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko demonstrates the value of sharing mission image data with the public. The browser-based tool lets you spin a simulated 3D view of the comet. It began with a 3D model of the comet created not by ESA, but by a space enthusiast, Mattias Malmer.

New Curiosity Self-Portrait

Damia Bouic • August 11, 2015

Amateur image processor Damia Bouic shares new stunning images from Curiosity—including a "selfie" from a whole new angle.

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Star Stream

Adam Block • July 31, 2015

Award-winning astrophotographer Adam Block presents the first-ever high-resolution color images of the "star stream halo" of the spiral galaxy NGC 4414.

In Pictures: West Virginia from Space

Jason Davis • July 29, 2015

Jason Davis shares five images of his home state, West Virginia, taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Looking back at Pluto

Emily Lakdawalla • July 24, 2015

I don't think anyone was prepared for the beauty -- or the instant scientific discoveries -- in this "lookback" image of Pluto, captured by New Horizons shortly after it flew by.

Jupiter's changing face, 2009-2015

Emily Lakdawalla • July 24, 2015

Damian Peach's photo-documentation of Jupiter helps us monitor the giant planet's ever-changing patterns of belts, zones, storms, and barges, during a time when no orbiting missions are there to take pictures.

New Horizons encounter plus one week: Weird and wonderful images from the Pluto system

Emily Lakdawalla • July 21, 2015

So many new image goodies from the Pluto system!

Dawn at Ceres: A haze in Occator crater?

Andrew Rivkin • July 21, 2015

While Pluto deservedly stole the headlines last week, Chris Russell’s Dawn update at the Exploration Science Forum at NASA Ames reminded us that the other dwarf planets are also sharing their secrets with eager scientists.

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