Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2011/01/31 11:00 CST
Seven years ago this month, Spirit bounced down onto the surface of the Red Planet, rolled to a stop upright, and beeped home, ready to roll. Three weeks later, Opportunity not only bounced down safely and right into a small crater, but opened its "eyes" to see what the Mars Exploration Rovers had been sent to find signs that water had once flowed there.
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/27 05:32 CST
I've spent the day noodling around in the current issue of Icarus, following up some of the more interesting stories within its table of contents, and came across a picture of this very cool crater -- actually, set of craters -- on Mars.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/26 11:18 CST
JAXA posted a report today stating that IKAROS "has completed its regular operations."
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/25 10:18 CST
Daniel Macháček has colorized some terrific images of Phobos and run them through some morphing software to make a seamless animation that appears to show Phobos rotating before you.
Posted by Ted Stryk on 2011/01/24 01:01 CST
The annual New Horizons Science Team Meeting was held last week at NASA's Ames Research Center.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/22 03:13 CST
A new update has been posted to the Stardust website: The spacecraft continues to operate as expected and all subsystems are healthy on approach to comet Tempel 1.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/21 05:09 CST
The Mars Express High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) team has just released several images from the most recent series of Phobos flybys to the Mars Express blog.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/20 11:23 CST
Daniel Macháček has reached into the dark side of Prometheus and pulled out an incredible amount of detail where the potato-shaped moon is illuminated by Saturnshine. He produced an animation that morphs among the three sets of four-filter color images that Cassini snapped during the flyby.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/19 02:53 CST
A press briefing was held at NASA Headquarters this morning to preview the planned February 14 encounter by Stardust with Tempel 1. There aren't often lots of questions from media after these "preview" briefings, but today there were zero. That's not good.
In the last couple of weeks, media outlets around the world have been reporting that NASA recently convened a private meeting at JPL to identify the worst movies ever made, scientifically speaking. It seemed like a good story. The problem was that it wasn't true.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/14 12:16 CST
Earlier this week I got all excited about the Orcus-Vanth system. It turns out there was a math error in the version of the paper that I read, which resulted in the notion that Vanth could be nearly as big as Orcus.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/14 10:50 CST
In the past couple of months I've received several emails from scientists offering clarifications, corrections, or alternative points of view to previous posts, which is awesome and something that I enthusiastically encourage. Here's one of them.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/13 11:42 CST
A terrific set of Goldstone radar images of a good-sized near-Earth asteroids named 2010 JL33 was posted to the JPL website yesterday. They also posted a movie version but something about these pixelated radar image series absolutely begs for them to be displayed as an old-school animated GIF, so I made one.