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Blog Archive

 

Goodies from the January 11 Rhea flyby

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/12 10:44 CST

Cassini got some incredibly tricky shots during its January 11 Rhea flyby!

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Video: The Frontier Is Everywhere

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/01/12 04:09 CST

A young and enthusiastic NASA supporter has married Carl Sagan's writing with images to create a YouTube video in the hope of helping NASA engage the public in its mission of exploration.

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365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/12 10:32 CST

Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011, about what to look forward to in solar system exploration this year.

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"A genuinely weird experience": A video of Steve Squyres explaining a photo of Steve Squyres

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/12 10:09 CST

In a lovely talk, in his uncommonly engaging way, Steve Squyres presents the portrait of him that now hangs in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

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Orcus and Vanth

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/11 01:49 CST | 1 comments

As part of a big, ongoing project to make a comparison chart of the dimensions and physical properties of solar system objects I've spent the morning tackling the difficult problem of summarizing the physical characteristics of the biggest things that are out there beyond Neptune.

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Grab bag: "Rocky" exoplanet, molten lunar core, Rhea close encounter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/10 02:12 CST

The Kepler exoplanet hunting mission has made news today with a report of "its first rocky planet."

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Stardust mission update: 38 days to Tempel 1

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/07 10:25 CST

Stardust is healthy after performing a "cold boot" to clear a memory address problem (a "memory address latch-up") that occurred late last year and caused the spacecraft to go into safe mode three times.

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Solar eclipses from space: Hinode and SDO

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/06 11:33 CST

Two spacecraft that keep their ever-watchful eyes on the Sun -- NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and JAXA's Hinode -- were doing their thing, when something large wandered past: the Moon.

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Dawn Journal: LAMO (Low Altitude Mapping Orbit)

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2011/01/05 03:35 CST

Dawn finishes 2010 much as it began the year, thrusting with its ion propulsion system in steady pursuit of a distant world.

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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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Sunset and eclipse on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/05 11:38 CST

These two movies were posted to the JPL website a couple of weeks ago, and they are just amazing.

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Juno in an alternate universe

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/04 03:13 CST

I was browsing JPL's Planetary Photojournal today and noticed that they've posted an updated artist's concept of the Juno spacecraft, which is set to launch in August for a 2016 arrival at Jupiter.

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Two views of Santa Maria, from orbit and from the ground

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/04 11:27 CST

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has just snapped another photo of Opportunity sitting on the ground on Mars. These pictures never get old.

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How Mars Express' orbit shifts with time

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/04 11:02 CST

While I was writing yesterday's blog entry on Mars Express' Phobos flybys I realized that I didn't understand Mars Express' orbit very well. So I sent an inquiry to the Mars Express blog, which they answered in a blog entry today.

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It's Phobos season again for Mars Express

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/03 01:43 CST

The Mars Express blog has been reactivated today, as a new series of Phobos flybys is already underway.

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Happy 2011, and an end to the 2010 advent calendar

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/01 11:43 CST

Welcome 2011! I can't wait for what this year has in store. The prize for all of you who have enjoyed opening each door in the Planetary Society's 2010 advent calendar is one of the best views we can get of one of the biggest objects in the asteroid belt, Vesta.

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