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Happy Halloween!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 31, 2009

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.

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

A.J.S. Rayl • October 31, 2009

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.

Fun Friday photo: Titan and Rhea

Emily Lakdawalla • October 30, 2009

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

FINDS Exo-Earths Starts Up: Testing the Prototype

Debra Fischer • October 30, 2009

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.

What's up in the solar system in November 2009

Emily Lakdawalla • October 29, 2009

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

Einstein still rules

Charlene Anderson • October 29, 2009

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

Gorgeous high-res image of the Apollo 17 landing site

Emily Lakdawalla • October 28, 2009

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.

HiRISE sees Phoenix in the Martian spring

Emily Lakdawalla • October 28, 2009

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • October 28, 2009

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.

Optical SETI's Growing Capabilities

Paul Horowitz • October 28, 2009

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • October 27, 2009

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

What "phase angle" means

Emily Lakdawalla • October 27, 2009

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • October 26, 2009

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

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

Emily Lakdawalla • October 23, 2009

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.

Augustine Committee Final Report

Louis D. Friedman • October 22, 2009

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

Last Chance for Bargains at The Planetary Society Store

Emily Lakdawalla • October 22, 2009

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.

Spinning spokes in Saturn's rings

Emily Lakdawalla • October 21, 2009

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

Window onto an abyss: Cave skylight on the Moon

Emily Lakdawalla • October 20, 2009

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.

Saturn shadows shift with the seasons

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2009

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.

Fun for Sunday: Titan and Tethys pas de deux

Emily Lakdawalla • October 18, 2009

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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