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Finally, some high-quality photos from Chang'e 3!

Emily Lakdawalla • January 10, 2014

A pile of Chang'e 3 photos has been released to the Web, and they are much, much better than what I've seen before. They include, for the first time, photos of Earth from the lander.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Diviner maps geologic context of Chang'e 3 landing site

Emily Lakdawalla • January 08, 2014

The LRO Diviner Lunar Radiometer has been mapping the entire Moon on a nearly continuous basis since July, 2009. The Diviner team has produced maps of the thermal behavior and and a range of derived quantities at Chang’e 3 landing site that are described in this post.

The Last Flight of the Original Space Ranger

Bill Dunford • January 06, 2014

Remembering the Moon's first extreme close-up.

Pretty picture: Two crescents: New moon, old Venus

Emily Lakdawalla • January 02, 2014

A baby Moon and aging Venus crescents are positioned close in the sky today, and lots of people are taking beautiful photos.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spies Chang'e 3 and Yutu

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2013

As promised, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's sharp eyes spotted the Chang'e 3 lander and Yutu rover on the lunar surface on December 25. The hardware shows up as a few bright pixels throwing long, dark shadows, clearly visible in a before-and-after comparison.

Chang'e 3 update with lots of pictures: Yutu begins lunar journey

Emily Lakdawalla • December 23, 2013

There was a lot of action on Chang'e 3 over the weekend! I have lots of pictures to share, including the highest-quality one I've seen of the rover on the surface, plus video of the rover making tracks on the Moon and a 3D view of the lander.

Chang'e 3 and LADEE updates: Yutu active again, LADEE didn't detect landing

Emily Lakdawalla • December 20, 2013

Chinese state television broadcast a display of a Chang'e 3 lander image; the Yutu rover is awake; and LADEE reports a surprising non-detection of the Chang'e 3 landing.

NASA re-creates the Apollo 8 Earthrise using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data

Andrew Chaikin • December 20, 2013

If there's one thing I've learned after decades of studying the first human voyages to another world, it's that there is always more to discover about Apollo. Case in point: The Apollo 8 Earthrise photo that became one of the iconic images of the 20th century.

Chang'e 3 update: 6 instruments active, new fan-produced landing video

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2013

Today there was a lengthy press briefing by several members of the Chang'e 3 science team. A complete transcript was posted in Chinese. I have run it through two machine translators and found it to be quite informative, not just about the mission but also about attitudes about Chinese space exploration and foreign cooperation. I also have a cool fan-produced video to share.

Amazing Chang'e 3 descent video

Emily Lakdawalla • December 15, 2013

Watch and enjoy this full video of Chang'e 3's descent onto the lunar surface.

Color photo of Yutu rover and Chang'e lander, and more on the Chang'e 3 landing site

Emily Lakdawalla • December 15, 2013

Fresh off of Chinese state television are lovely pictures taken by Chang'e 3 lander and rover of each other!

Six wheels on soil for Yutu!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2013

Here it is! Animated gifs, composed of screen grabs from Chinese state television, of the Yutu rover rolling on to the lunar surface. This was a replay, but it was no less thrilling for that; the actual rollout happened at 20:40 UT (12:40 PT). Six wheels on soil! Woohoo!

Chang'e 3 has successfully landed on the Moon!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2013

Transmitting images all the way down, China's Chang'e 3 lander successfully arrived on the lunar surface at 13:11:18 -- half an hour before the scheduled landing time. Rover deploy is set for a few hours later.

Chang'e 3 and LADEE updates -- and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, too, for good measure

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2013

Chang'e 3 is just about to land on the Moon, and the LADEE orbiter has begun a new science mission there, while Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is still producing amazing images.

Somewhere Over the Bay of Rainbows

Bill Dunford • December 02, 2013

Pay a visit to the Chang'e 3 lunar landing site.

ARTEMIS Mission Update

Jasper S. Halekas • November 14, 2013

ARTEMIS is a mission that retasked two probes from the 5-spacecraft Heliophysics constellation THEMIS to study the interaction of the Moon with the space plasma environment.

The Strangest Place on the Moon?

Bill Dunford • October 21, 2013

A closer look at the odd lunar feature called "Ina."

Juno's flying by Earth today, and images of the Moon are already on the ground!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2013

Juno flies past Earth for a gravity assist at 19:22 UTC today, and the first images from the encounter are already on the ground and processed by amateurs!

Relative and absolute ages in the histories of Earth and the Moon: The Geologic Time Scale

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2013

A few days ago, I wrote a post about the basins of the Moon -- a result of a trip down a rabbit hole of book research. Here's the next step in that journey: the Geologic Time Scales of Earth and the Moon.

Dating the Moon's basins

Emily Lakdawalla • September 26, 2013

A paper in press in the Journal of Geophysical Research uses new data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to update our story for the history of the Moon's massive impacts.

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