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Blog Archive


The Solar System from the Inside Out - and the Outside In

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/18 02:27 CST

Space probes grant us perspective, the ability to see our place within the vastness of the solar system. But opportunities to see all of the solar system's planets in one observation are rare. In fact, there's only been one opportunity on one mission to see the whole solar system at once, until now.

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IKAROS: self-portrait with Venus; primary mission complete

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/26 11:18 CST

JAXA posted a report today stating that IKAROS "has completed its regular operations."

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Two possible futures for Akatsuki

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/05 12:02 CST

There are two intriguing possibilities being discussed in the Japanese media for what to do with Akatsuki, a space probe in orbit near Venus with a fully functional, highly capable suite of cameras but a damaged main engine.

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Door 23 in the 2010 advent calendar

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/23 02:56 CST

Time to open the twenty-third door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this oozing wound?

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Door 16 in the 2010 advent calendar

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/16 01:40 CST

Time to open the sixteenth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this widespread fan?

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Come back, Venus.....

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/09 10:04 CST

This image is so, so beautiful, and so, so sad.

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Akatsuki enters orbit at Venus today!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/06 12:30 CST

In just a few hours, Venus will have a second orbiter. Japan's Akatsuki is due to start firing its orbit insertion engines on December 7.

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Door 5 in the 2010 advent calendar

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/05 05:45 CST

Time to open the fifth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this meandering river?

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Venus: Not so neat and tidy as we thought

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/23 12:12 CDT

Pioneer Venus discovered a stable "dipole" near Venus' north pole, and Venus Express found the same thing near Venus' south pole. Except now Venus Express has found it's not as stable as once thought.

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Special report by Bill Nye from the VEXAG Meeting

Posted by Bill Nye on 2010/09/02 04:01 CDT

Is Venus the forgotten planet, or just one that's hard to figure out?

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One month, one journal, so many missed space stories!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/24 10:53 CDT

Or: Emily reads you the table of contents of Icarus.

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Hubble turns 20

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/23 03:02 CDT

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. It's hard to believe it's been going strong for so many years.

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Venus Express evidence for recent hot-spot volcanism on Venus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/09 04:51 CDT

Venus? What? Somebody still studies that planet? Yes, and in fact there's an active spacecraft there: Venus Express, the poor little sister to Mars Express.

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LPSC: Venus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/10 02:16 CST

Despite the fact that I began my career in science doing research on Magellan images of Venus, I've often avoided Venus sessions at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference because they've tended to be pointlessly contentious. But I decided to attend the one this year to see how things went.

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Exciting Times Ahead: 2010 Will Sizzle, and 2011 Will Really Cook!

Posted by Alan Stern on 2009/05/18 03:56 CDT

Today, I'm kicking the week off with a look at the unusually intense confluence of far flung planetary exploration that's just around the corner, starting the middle of next year.

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LPSC: Thursday: Rovers, Titan, Mars, Venus Express, Neptune

Posted by Ted Stryk on 2008/03/14 03:49 CDT

I spent a large portion of the day at the Lunar and Planetary Institute's library and presented my own poster during the poster sessions, so my coverage of Thursday's sessions is limited.

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Flyby of Venus Speeds MESSENGER Onward to Mercury

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/06/05 09:00 CDT

The MESSENGER spacecraft is zeroing in on Venus for the most significant gravity assist maneuver of its long journey to Mercury.

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MESSENGER's Venus flyby successful

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/10/24 02:51 CDT

A press release just hit my mailbox stating that MESSENGER has been heard from since its Venus flyby, so there are now only four flybys to go before MESSENGER will be in orbit at Mercury!

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New items on the website: Rover update and Stardust@home

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/05/01 06:54 CDT

I just wanted to point out a couple of new items on the website.

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Voyager's Last View

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2002/08/01 12:00 CDT

Home. Family. This will be Voyager's enduring legacy: It has changed forever the feelings raised by those words. Through its robotic eyes we have learned to see the solar system as our home. Through its portraits of the planets we know that they are part of our family. Apollo astronauts showed us a tiny Earth alone in the blackness of space. Now, with these images, Voyager has shown us that Earth is not really alone. Around our parent Sun orbit sibling worlds, companions as we travel through the Galaxy.

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