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Blog Archive


What's up in the Solar System in August 2012

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/08/03 06:03 CDT

Welcome to the monthly roundup of our solar system's envoy of electronic explorers! All eyes are on Curiosity as it approaches Mars this weekend. Who will lend support at the Red Planet?

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Cartoon: Voyager's ongoing adventures

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/04/23 11:36 CDT | 2 comments

I'm not sure what to make of this YouTube cartoon about Voyager, except to say that it's simultaneously heart-wrenching, funny, and adorable.

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Snapshots From Space Video: Revealing Jupiter's (Mostly) Unseen Treasures

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/03/18 01:46 CDT | 2 comments

Tens of thousands of Jupiter images were taken by the Voyager spacecraft, but relatively few have been processed to reveal their true beauty and wonder. The latest Snapshots video from Emily Lakdawalla explains why.

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Pretty Picture: A snapshot of Voyager 1's departure from Jupiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/03/13 04:08 CDT

In this week's Snapshots from Space video, I talk about the Voyager 1 images of Jupiter -- how many there are (tens of thousands), and what a challenge they represent for image processors. But, I promise, the effort is worth it. Here's just one example: it's a color, crescent view of Jupiter, taken by Voyager 1 as it departed.

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Pretty pictures: Voyager 2 at Jupiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/03/02 01:22 CST

Here are two perfect examples of Voyager 2's amazing untapped treasures.

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Iapetus' peerless equatorial ridge

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/22 01:49 CST | 2 comments

A new paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets by Dombard, Cheng, McKinnon, and KayI claims to explain how Iapetus' equatorial ridge formed. Cool!

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From the 2011 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU): Voyager 1 at the edge of the solar system

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/12/05 04:13 CST

A report on a press briefing about Voyager 1 at the Fall 2011 American Geophyisical Union meeting. The spacecraft has entered a new region between our solar system and interstellar space, which scientists are calling the stagnation region.

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A Distant View of Triton

Posted by Ted Stryk on 2011/09/26 01:19 CDT

Ted Stryk reminisces on how he was turned on to astronomy.

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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 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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