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Blogs

Emily Lakdawalla's blogs from 2009

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 31: Uranus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/31 11:06 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 31: Uranus

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Worsening outlook for Spirit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/31 10:57 CST

I just got a press release from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory that made my heart sink; the extrication effort for Spirit is not going at all well. I did not want to keep sounding a knell of bad news. But once in a while, I do have to report bad news.

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2009: The Year in Pictures

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/31 09:15 CST

2009: The Year in Pictures

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 30: Tempel 1

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/30 08:26 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 30: Tempel 1

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 29: Rhea

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/29 11:00 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 29: Rhea

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 28: Ariel

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

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 28: Ariel

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 27: Prometheus (hot off the presses!)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/27 03:24 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 27: Prometheus (hot off the presses!)

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 26: Titan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/26 11:28 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 26: Titan

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 25: Double planet

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/24 11:32 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 25: Double planet

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Happy Christmas on Mars!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/24 10:42 CST

Happy Christmas on Mars!

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 24: Ganymede

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/24 08:51 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 24: Ganymede

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A Space Carnival and a radio show

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/24 08:50 CST

A Space Carnival and a radio show

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Awesome Cassini mutual event movies

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/23 01:04 CST

Awesome Cassini mutual event movies

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 23: Deimos

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/23 12:29 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 23: Deimos

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Celebrate exploration with Stephen Hawking and Buzz Aldrin!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/23 12:21 CST

Celebrate exploration with Stephen Hawking and Buzz Aldrin!

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 22: Venus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/22 12:13 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 22: Venus

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 21: Miranda

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/21 04:09 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 21: Miranda

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 20: Iapetus

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

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 20: Iapetus

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 19: Eros

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

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 19: Eros

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 18: Neptune

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

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 18: Neptune

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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

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 17: Proteus

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Watch that front wheel spin!

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

Watch that front wheel spin!

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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

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 16: Mimas

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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

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

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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

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

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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

Class announcement: How to play with Mars Express VMC images

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 15: Mars

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

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 15: Mars

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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

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 14: The Moon

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Congratulations to the WISE team on a successful launch!

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

Congratulations to the WISE team on a successful launch!

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 13: Dactyl

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

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 13: Dactyl

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 12: Saturn

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

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 12: Saturn

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 11: Io

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

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 11: Io

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Awesome Mars Express view of Phobos and Deimos together

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/11 11:24 CST

My inbox was exploding this morning with messages about a tremendously cool animation released this morning by ESA's Mars Express team. It shows Phobos crossing Deimos, in what's known as a "mutual event."

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The Norway Spiral

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/10 12:06 CST

The Norway Spiral

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 10: Triton

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/10 11:42 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 10: Triton

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 9: Atlas

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/09 01:55 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 9: Atlas

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Send Your Name to Venus, now with a certificate!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/09 01:46 CST

Send Your Name to Venus, now with a certificate!

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 8: Itokawa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/08 12:50 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 8: Itokawa

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Carnival of Space and Planetary Radio

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/08 12:30 CST

Carnival of Space and Planetary Radio

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 7: Jupiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/07 03:11 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 7: Jupiter

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Four hundred and fourteen years since Galileo

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/07 10:43 CST

Four hundred and fourteen years since Galileo

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 6: Umbriel

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/06 08:00 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 6: Umbriel

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 5: Epimetheus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/05 09:17 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 5: Epimetheus

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 4: Mercury

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/04 02:41 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 4: Mercury

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 3: Europa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/03 04:20 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 3: Europa

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If Earth had rings

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/03 01:23 CST

If Earth had rings

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 2: Mathilde

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/02 04:42 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 2: Mathilde

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The November/December issue of The Planetary Report is out

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/02 01:34 CST

The November/December issue of The Planetary Report is out

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Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 1: Dione

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/01 04:08 CST

Planetary Society Advent Calendar for December 1: Dione

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Encouraging motion on Spirit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/19 04:54 CST

It really looks like the second attempt at driving Spirit out of the trap has had the hoped-for result: some forward progress (maybe about a centimeter), and no evidence for further downward sinking.

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Hayabusa's still coming home: JAXA engineers come up with yet another creative solution

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/19 11:16 CST

Trouble has come time and again to JAXA's little Hayabusa asteroid sample return mission, yet the mission's engineers always come up with new and creative ways to solve problems.

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Opportunity's poking at Marquette Island; Cassini's catching dancing moons

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/18 04:58 CST

Since tomorrow's class is going to be on playing with raw images from the rovers and Cassini, I've been playing with recent raw images from the rovers and Cassini! I just thought I'd share a couple of the fun items I've been working with.

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Atlantis Rockets to Orbit on crucial ISS resupply flight

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/18 04:47 CST

Atlantis Rockets to Orbit on crucial ISS resupply flight

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Results of the first "Free Spirit" extrication drive, sol 2088: not much, as expected

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/17 03:20 CST

Even though all of us rover fans know that Spirit is really, really stuck, I think I'm not the only one who was secretly hoping that today's images downlinked from Spirit would show that the rover had magically popped out of the ground overnight. Of course, she didn't.

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How to download the first imaging class: "Images Are Data"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/16 02:48 CST

How to download the first imaging class: "Images Are Data"

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Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks on the 17th

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/16 02:16 CST

Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks on the 17th

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Rosetta Earth swingby successful

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/13 09:44 CST

Rosetta Earth swingby successful

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LCROSS team: "Yes, we found water!"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/13 03:55 CST

LCROSS team: "Yes, we found water!"

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STS 129 Astronauts arrive at Cape Canaveral

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/13 01:29 CST

STS 129 Astronauts arrive at Cape Canaveral

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Two new names in the solar system: Herse and Weywot

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/12 04:45 CST

Two new names in the solar system: Herse and Weywot

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First space imaging class tomorrow, 10:30 a.m. Pacific / 18:30 UT

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/12 02:26 CST

First space imaging class tomorrow, 10:30 a.m. Pacific / 18:30 UT

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Highlights from today's Spirit press briefing

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/12 01:49 CST

Since A. J. S. Rayl was also listening in on today's press briefing about the efforts to extricate Spirit from her predicament at Troy, I'll just hit the high points and send you over to her story when she has posted it.

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Crescent Earth

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/12 12:04 CST

Crescent Earth

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Hayabusa stumbles on the path back to Earth

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/11 11:19 CST

JAXA issued a press release (in Japanese) on November 9 stating that one of Hayabusa's ion thrusters, thruster D, had stopped operating. Hayabusa launched with four ion thrusters, but D was one of only two that are still functioning. So the failure of thruster D is a serious problem.

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Tracking the stars -- and Earth

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

Tracking the stars -- and Earth

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Four moons and a ring

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/10 02:21 CST

Four moons and a ring

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Rosetta is homing in on Earth

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/10 11:38 CST

Rosetta is homing in on Earth

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Planetary Radio Q and A: Are meteorites on Mars actually interesting?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/09 03:53 CST

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been studying a lot of meteorites. That made me wonder, why study meteorites on Mars when we can study them in hand on Earth? How are Mars meteorites interesting?

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A million dollars says The Planetary Society can make a solar sail fly

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/09 03:27 CST

A million dollars says The Planetary Society can make a solar sail fly

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She moves! "First drive sequence in 145 sols" for Spirit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/08 04:39 CST

It's been an awful long time since we've seen one of these from Spirit: an animation of four Navcam frames documenting motion!

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Space Image Processing Classes are Go!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/06 04:14 CST

Space Image Processing Classes are Go!

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Reviews of several space-themed books for young children

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/05 09:32 CST

Reviews of several space-themed books for young children

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Planetary Radio Q and A: Saturn's Hexagon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/04 04:14 CST

Planetary Radio Q and A: Saturn's Hexagon

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Planetary Radio Q and A: Not-so-gassy giants

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/04 04:02 CST

Planetary Radio Q and A: Not-so-gassy giants

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Data from Kaguya's prime mission to the Moon has been released

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/03 03:46 CST

Data from Kaguya's prime mission to the Moon has been released

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Another marvelous image from Cassini's Nov 2 Enceladus flyby

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/03 12:21 CST

Another marvelous image from Cassini's Nov 2 Enceladus flyby

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Cassini's Enceladus encounter, with bonus Tethys

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/11/02 11:10 CST

Cassini's Enceladus encounter, with bonus Tethys

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Happy Halloween!

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

Happy Halloween!

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Fun Friday photo: Titan and Rhea

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

Fun Friday photo: Titan and Rhea

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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

What's up in the solar system in November 2009

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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

Gorgeous high-res image of the Apollo 17 landing site

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HiRISE sees Phoenix in the Martian spring

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

HiRISE sees Phoenix in the Martian spring

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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

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

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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

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

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What "phase angle" means

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

What "phase angle" means

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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

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

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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

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

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Louis Friedman: Augustine Committee Final Report

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/22 06:44 CDT

Louis Friedman: Augustine Committee Final Report

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