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Blog Archive

 

Congratulations to the Dawn team on their orbit entry & pretty pictures!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/07/18 05:08 CDT

There's a new orbital mission on the map! As of Friday, the relatively small mass of the asteroid Vesta has finally taken hold of its new artificial satellite, Dawn.

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Bj�rn J�nsson's Voyager 1 Jupiter animation, new and improved

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/16 11:32 CDT

Late last year I posted an amazing video of Jupiter's moving clouds, an animation made from images that Voyager 1 took as it approached. Below is a new and improved version of that animation. The first one was based on 16 Voyager color photos; this one covers a much longer period of time, and includes 58 images.

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The scale of our solar system

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/02 11:26 CDT

Space.com has taken advantage of the infinitely scrollable nature of Web pages to produce a really cool infographic on the scales of orbital distances in the solar system.

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Historical PDF: "The Voyager Flights to Jupiter and Saturn"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/20 05:03 CDT

A while ago I posted all 99 issues of the Voyager Mission Status Bulletins in PDF format, and now I have another cool item to add to that collection: NASA EP-191, "The Voyager Flights to Jupiter and Saturn."

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What's up in the solar system in April 2011

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/31 03:59 CDT

April 2011 will see MESSENGER begin the science phase of its orbital mission at Mercury, and should, I think, also see the start of Dawn's approach observations of Vesta. At Mars, Opportunity is back on the road again, rolling inexorably toward Endeavour. At Saturn, Cassini will continue its focus on Saturn and Titan science.

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What's up in the solar system in March 2011

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/28 02:43 CST

I don't think there's any question what the big event of this month will be: MESSENGER is finally, finally entering orbit at Mercury on March 18 at 00:45 UTC (March 17 at 16:45 for me).

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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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Snapshots from Space: Voyager views of the Great Red Spot, Björn Jönsson

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/10 02:38 CST

I've got a new column in the Planetary Society's member magazine, The Planetary Report, called "Snapshots from Space," highlighting really cool amateur-processed images. I'm excited to have the opportunity to help these people get their work published!

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Io and Jupiter from Voyager 1

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/31 03:14 CST

Here's an image I've been meaning to post for months, a new mosaic from Voyager 1 by Ted Stryk of Io crossing Jupiter's terminator as it neared closest approach.

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Uranus and Challenger

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/28 09:21 CST

In the past week there have been 25th anniversaries of two events in 1986, one great, one terrible: the closest approach of Voyager 2 to Uranus on January 24, and the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger upon liftoff on January 28.

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Door 8 in the 2010 advent calendar

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/08 05:03 CST

Time to open the eighth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this nearly flat plain?

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Final set of Voyager Mission Status Bulletins: The Voyager 2 Neptune flyby and beyond

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/24 06:37 CST

I'm surprised no one's emailed me demanding the last batch of Voyager mission status bulletins! Well, here they are.

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An awesome animation of Jupiter's clouds

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/09 02:18 CST

Ready to see something beautiful? Here's a team effort by Björn Jónsson and Ian Regan to create a really mesmerizing view of the motions of Jupiter's clouds.

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The August 20, 2010 Jupiter fireball -- and the March 5, 1979 one

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/24 11:36 CDT

Following up on the story I first posted on August 22, the Jupiter impact fireball first noticed by Japanese amateur astronomer Masayuki Tachikawa has been independently confirmed by two other Japanese astronomers.

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Exposing Io's true colors

Posted by Jason Perry on 2010/08/20 05:15 CDT

Thanks to its active volcanic activity and sulfur-rich surface, Io is one of the most colorful worlds yet seen in the Solar System, save the Earth of course

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What's up in the solar system in January 2010

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/04 01:29 CST

While we don't have Moon bases, we do have plenty of spacecraft. Before I get into my more detailed look at the activities of the 20-odd spacecraft wandering about the solar system, I thought I'd look ahead to 2010 more generally and see what the year has in store for us.

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What do we know about Uranus' moons? Part 2

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/02/19 06:07 CST

Here is every single image of the last two moons discovered prior to the Voyager 2 encounter, Titania and Umbriel.

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What do we know about Uranus' moons? Part 1

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/01/20 06:26 CST

I got an urge to dive in to the Voyager image archives and see what exactly we have here on Earth to base our understanding of the Uranian moons on.

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The Orbital Dance of Epimetheus and Janus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/02/07 11:00 CST

Saturn is surrounded by a crowded family of rings and moons, and two of those moons -- Epimetheus and Janus -- orbit Saturn so close together that it seems as though their different orbital speeds should make them crash into each other.

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The Stories Behind the Voyager Mission: Ed Stone

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2002/09/05 12:00 CDT

Edward C. Stone, an internationally renowned physicist, signed on as Project Scientist of the Voyager mission in 1972, responsible for coordinating the efforts of 11 teams of researchers.

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