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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 20: Iapetus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/20 02:48 CST

Iapetus! I'm always interested in Cassini images, but five years ago this month I was refreshing the Cassini raw images website several times a day, eagerly anticipating the mission's first good encounter with Iapetus.

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 19: Eros

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/19 05:43 CST

Not quite ten years ago, the Near Earth Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft arrived at the near-Earth asteroid Eros. NEAR accomplished many firsts.

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 18: Neptune

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/18 02:19 CST

Here's Neptune, but not quite like you've ever seen it before.

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Cassini VIMS sees the long-awaited glint off a Titan lake

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/17 04:28 CST

The Cassini mission announced today the first observation of a specular reflection off of a lake on Titan. A specular reflection is a mirror-like flash, and you only get one when you have a mirror-like surface -- very, very smooth.

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 17: Proteus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/17 12:57 CST

Proteus is a weird name for this world. It's the second-largest moon of Neptune, and so it's named (as are all of Neptune's moons) for deities associated with the sea.

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Watch that front wheel spin!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/17 09:55 CST

Holy cow, look at that right front wheel spin. I am alternately amazed and horrified by this animation.

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Hayabusa on the home stretch

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/17 07:49 CST

Hayabusa is still 100 million kilometers from the Earth, less than an astronomical unit away but still with months to travel. But according to an update posted to their websitethis morning by project manager Junichiro Kawaguchi, Hayabusa is on the home stretch.

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 16: Mimas

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/16 03:28 CST

Mimas is the anti-Enceladus.

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Two cool discoveries today: icy-hot exoplanet and smallest ever Kuiper Belt object

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/16 01:01 CST

There are two cool stories circulating today on the theme of discovering new places in the cosmos.

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Downloading the "How to work with Mars Express VMC images" class

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/16 10:21 CST

Here's the information on how to watch the class on how to work with Mars Express VMC images, which I conducted to a small audience this morning.

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Class announcement: How to play with Mars Express VMC images

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/15 03:05 CST

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I've been fiddling with images from the Mars Webcam, more officially known as the Mars Express Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC), for the last couple of weeks.

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 15: Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/15 12:40 CST

We have three orbiters and two rovers currently exploring Mars, each of which returns breathtaking photos on a daily basis.

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No, they can't push with the arm to free Spirit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/15 11:25 CST

I've gotten this question about once a week since Spirit got stuck, but yesterday, two different readers asked the same question within an hour of each other, so I figured it was time for a blog entry.

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A teeny weeny bit of movement in Spirit's right front wheel

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/14 01:12 CST

The ever-vigilant Doug Ellison just posted this animation, which really actually does show a teeny tiny bit of motion in the right front wheel. If you don't notice any motion, look closer.

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 14: The Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/14 11:09 CST

The Moon is the most familiar of the objects in the heavens.

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Congratulations to the WISE team on a successful launch!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/14 10:22 CST

It was worth my while to get up at 5:15 my time this morning -- I saw a flawless launch of a Delta II from Vandenberg Air Force Base, carrying the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) into orbit.

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 13: Dactyl

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/13 04:35 CST

If you don't think Pluto gets enough respect, just imagine what it's like to be a satellite of an asteroid.

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Copenhagen Needs More Space, Part 2 The Orbiting Carbon Observatory Must Fly Again

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2009/12/13 02:41 CST

In our continuing saga of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO), the scene now switches from Copenhagen to Washington, D.C.

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 12: Saturn

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/12 03:17 CST

Cassini's amazing cameras have set a new standard for the quality, sharpness, resolution, beautiful color, and all-around spectacularness of images returned from the outer solar system.

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 11: Io

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/11 02:54 CST

This is a special post for all of my readers who are lighting the first candle on their menorot this evening.

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