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Akatsuki update: more detail on first failure report

Emily Lakdawalla • December 20, 2010

Ordinarily it's not my thing to do so many updates on a mission that failed to arrive in orbit, but I know that it's difficult for English-speaking readers to locate information on Asian missions so I'm keeping up the reporting on Akatsuki.

Door 20 in the 2010 advent calendar (special news update)

Emily Lakdawalla • December 20, 2010

Time to open the twentieth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this diffuse blob and stripy sea?

Lunar eclipse tonight, mid-eclipse at 08:17 Dec 21 UT

Emily Lakdawalla • December 20, 2010

Unless you live under a rock you probably know that there is a total lunar eclipse tonight, one that should be particularly favorable for viewing from North America but which will be at least partially visible to viewers in South America, Europe, and easternmost Asia and Australia too.

Door 19 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 19, 2010

Time to open the nineteenth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system are these folded rocks?

Door 18 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 18, 2010

Time to open the eighteenth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this brush-stroked surface?

Updates on Hayabusa and Akatsuki: second chamber opened, possible engine nozzle breakage

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2010

The Hayabusa update is brief: having opened the first Hayabusa sample return chamber (compartment A) last month, JAXA has now opened compartment B, and they found nothing inside.

Door 17 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2010

Time to open the seventeenth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system are these strange promontories?

Door 16 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 16, 2010

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

Help to hunt for planets!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 16, 2010

The Planet Hunters website, like Zooniverse's other projects, is very, very easy to get up and running.

Door 15 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 15, 2010

Time to open the fifteenth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this cratered world?

Opportunity drives within 20 meters of Santa Maria, spots alligator's tail

Emily Lakdawalla • December 15, 2010

Today Opportunity has driven to within 20 meters of Santa Maria crater, and the blocks around it are really, really cool-looking. This one is a dead ringer for the severed tail of an alligator.

Phobos Photobomb

Emily Lakdawalla • December 15, 2010

Don't blink when you play the video below -- it's only 15 seconds long, but it's so cool.

Door 14 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2010

Until the New Year, I'll be opening a door each day onto a different landscape from somewhere in the solar system. Where in the solar system are these red freckles?

Opportunity: "So close we can taste it" to Santa Maria

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2010

Opportunity is on a kilometers-long eastward road trip across Meridiani Planum toward the rim of a large ancient crater named Endeavour; it'll be many months yet before she gets there.

IKAROS flew past Venus on December 8

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2010

Just after Akatsuki missed entering orbit, another spacecraft, IKAROS, quietly passed by Venus.

Talk at AGU today: "Snapshots from Space"

Emily Lakdawalla • December 13, 2010

I had planned to be in San Francisco today to present at the 2010 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in an Education and Public Affairs session.

Door 13 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 13, 2010

Time to open the thirteenth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system are these parallel gouges?

Boulders and Ponds on 433 Eros

Emily Martin • December 13, 2010

There is really cool geology being explored on large, oddly shaped asteroids. The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission reached 433 Eros in 2000, and one of the exciting results was the discovery of features called "ponds".

Door 12 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 12, 2010

Time to open the twelfth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this trapezoidal mountain?

Door 11 in the 2010 advent calendar

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2010

Time to open the eleventh door in the advent calendar. Until the New Year, I'll be opening a door onto a different landscape from somewhere in the solar system. Where in the solar system are these sinuous ridges?

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