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Happy Halloween!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/31 09:08 CDT

Enjoy tonight's nearly-full Moon! I couldn't resist posting these snapshots that Alice Wessen took of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's costume contest.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Overcomes Setbacks and Waits for Extraction Orders, Opportunity Takes a Magical Meteorite Tour

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2009/10/31 12:00 CDT

The Mars Exploration Rover mission logged another textbook-rewriting month in October 2009 with more discoveries of geologic gems, new robot achievements balanced with equal amounts of challenges and frustrations overcome, topped off with special honors.

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Fun Friday photo: Titan and Rhea

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/30 01:19 CDT

Cassini recently captured a series of images documenting Rhea passing behind Titan.

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FINDS Exo-Earths Starts Up: Testing the Prototype

Posted by Debra Fischer on 2009/10/30 12:00 CDT | 2 comments

The prototype that Julien constructed in the lab was taken to Lick Observatory, and we had our first-light run with the fiber in July.

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What's up in the solar system in November 2009

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/29 06:59 CDT

There are two -- actually three -- big things to look forward to this month.

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Einstein still rules

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2009/10/29 02:34 CDT

News from 7.2 billion light years away demonstrates that some things in this shifting universe are relatively reliable.

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Gorgeous high-res image of the Apollo 17 landing site

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/28 03:51 CDT

The LROC team posted today a new image of the Apollo 17 landing site, captured after Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter had gotten in to its 50-kilometer mapping orbit, so this is much more detailed than the previous view.

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HiRISE sees Phoenix in the Martian spring

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/28 03:30 CDT

These Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE images of the defunct Phoenix lander in the early dawn light of northern spring have been out for some time, but no one had accomplished the difficult task of locating the Phoenix hardware in them until this week.

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Arizona Daily Star reports MRO managers working to avoid "unlikely but potentially fatal scenario"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/28 01:53 CDT

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been in safe mode for nine weeks, since August 26, the date of the fourth in a series of safing events.

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Optical SETI's Growing Capabilities

Posted by Paul Horowitz on 2009/10/28 12:00 CDT

Often, the phrase “next steps” has been known to describe things that don't actually happen. But for The Planetary Society's All-sky Optical SETI, it's different. Here's what's happened in the last year.

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Request for input: Any interest in tutorials on space imaging?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/27 04:42 CDT

I am toying with the idea of running a series of classes via Ustream on the basics of space image processing.

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What "phase angle" means

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/27 01:42 CDT

As is probably obvious by now, I love playing with spacecraft image data. I am always looking for excuses to dive into space image archives to unearth images of stuff in space that haven't really been seen by very many people before.

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Carnival of Space #126, plus more from Jupiter's moon Io

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/26 01:51 CDT

The 126th Space Carnival is live over at Jason Perry's always-excellent (if rather narrowly focused) Io blog The Gish Bar Times.

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Send your name to Venus with Venus Climate Orbiter (PLANET-C), now known as Akatsuki

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/23 12:31 CDT

The Japanese space agency's science missions have an abundance of names. They start out with a programmatic name, like MUSES-A, PLANET-A, etc. -- which might be like calling NEAR "Discovery-A" and Mars Pathfinder "Discovery-B" and so on.

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Augustine Committee Final Report

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2009/10/22 06:44 CDT

The Augustine Committee, which is reviewing the U.S. human space flight program, presented its final report today at a NASA press conference.

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Last Chance for Bargains at The Planetary Society Store

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/22 02:44 CDT

We are preparing to have a brand new online store with new and different merchandise; to that end, we are clearing out EVERY LAST BIT of our old store inventory.

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Spinning spokes in Saturn's rings

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/21 02:27 CDT

Here's a neat animation captured last month by Cassini and assembled by Mike Malaska: spokes in Saturn's B ring.

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Window onto an abyss: Cave skylight on the Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/20 02:01 CDT

This just in: researchers on JAXA's Kaguya lunar orbiter have discovered an open pit on the Moon that is likely a window onto a sublunar world -- a skylight into a subsurface cavern.

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Saturn shadows shift with the seasons

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/19 03:39 CDT

So many goodies on the Cassini raw images website lately! I am especially excited when Cassini takes photos through red, green, and blue filters so that it's possible to create views that look roughly like what you'd see with your own eyes.

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Fun for Sunday: Titan and Tethys pas de deux

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/18 05:08 CDT

Checking in on Cassini's raw images this weekend, there are several nice shots to play with, including the many frames from which I tossed together this cute animation.

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