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Blogs

Emily Lakdawalla's blogs from 2010

The most amazing image of Enceladus Cassini has captured yet

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/19 01:05 CDT

The most amazing image of Enceladus Cassini has captured yet

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Pictures hitting Earth from Cassini's close Enceladus flyby today

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/18 05:48 CDT

Pictures hitting Earth from Cassini's close Enceladus flyby today

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Dione and Telesto, close on camera but far apart in fact

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/18 12:28 CDT

This image, released today by Cassini's imaging team, is pretty cool; it shows one of Saturn's larger moons together with one of its smaller ones. I probably noticed the nice photo of Dione when it appeared on the Cassini raw images page two months ago, but I know I didn't notice the little speck below and to the left of the bigger moon. That speck is a small moon, Telesto.

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Akatsuki and IKAROS new launch date set

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/18 12:56 CDT

According to the Akatsuki Twitter feed, the next try for launch of Akatsuki and IKAROS will be Thursday, May 20, at 21:58:22 UTC.

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Voyager 2 status update: Yep, it was a flipped bit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/17 07:22 CDT

Voyager 2 status update: Yep, it was a flipped bit

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Akatsuki and IKAROS launch scrubbed due to weather

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/17 04:56 CDT

Akatsuki and IKAROS launch scrubbed due to weather

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Akatsuki and IKAROS to launch today

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/17 11:59 CDT

Just a programming note, a reminder that Japan plans to launch the Venus orbiter Akatsuki and the solar sail IKAROS today at 21:45 UTC.

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Sighting the homeworld

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/17 11:40 CDT

Coming closer every day, Mr. Hayabusa has sighted his final destination: his homeworld, Earth, and its attendant Moon.

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Photos of your names on the IKAROS spacecraft

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/14 03:11 CDT

IKAROS, Japan's solar sail, is nearly ready for launch, piggybacked behind the Venus orbiter Akatsuki.

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Venus, and the Moon, and Atlantis, and ISS, and Magellan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/14 10:41 CDT

Venus, and the Moon, and Atlantis, and ISS, and Magellan

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Solstice? What solstice?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/14 08:40 CDT

Solstice? What solstice?

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Update on Voyager 2 status

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/13 09:51 CDT

Update on Voyager 2 status

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Happy solstice -- on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/13 04:43 CDT

Happy solstice -- on Mars

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New maps of Enceladus and other moons

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/13 02:26 CDT

New maps of Enceladus and other moons

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Carnival of space 3D special

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/13 11:46 CDT

Carnival of space 3D special

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Moon Zoo is ready for you

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/12 04:15 CDT

Moon Zoo is ready for you

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A Martian Moment in Time, revisited

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/12 02:30 CDT

A good start to my day today: The New York Times' Lens Blog featured the "Martian Moment in Time" photo that Opportunity took last week in a really nice writeup. I'm so grateful, and still a little surprised, that the folks on the Mars Exploration Rover mission took this idea and ran with it!

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Radar glories in Titan rivers

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/11 04:53 CDT

Wow, this is a cool paper. Here's the gist: the Cassini RADAR team has spotted some river channels on Titan that shine so brightly in radar images, there must be something special going on to explain that brightness.

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Jupiter has lost a belt!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/10 05:22 CDT

Via Daniel Fischer's Tweet about a blog entry by Astro BobI learned of something which should be obvious to anyone who has trained even a rather small telescope on Jupiter over the past few weeks: one of its iconic stripes is just plain gone.

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Akatsuki and IKAROS getting ready for launch, with your names aboard

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/07 04:55 CDT

I've been so focused on the dramatic return of "Mr. Hayabusa" that I've neglected to write much about two up-and-coming Japanese missions: Akatsuki and IKAROS.

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Some trouble on Voyager 2

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/06 10:07 CDT

Some trouble on Voyager 2

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A moment in time

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/06 05:39 CDT

On Mars, at 15:00 local true solar time on May 2, a solitary rover gazed southward across her own dusty deck and snapped three photos, actually three sets of three photos, which were combined to make this view.

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13 things that saved Apollo 13

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/06 01:12 CDT | 1 comment

13 things that saved Apollo 13

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Morphology and mineralogy on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/05 11:16 CDT

A recent entry by Bethany Ehlmann from the blog of the Planetary Geomorphology Working Group of the International Association of Geomorphologists demonstrates how you can combine the power of different types of data to tease out a rich story of the past history of one spot on Mars.

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Saturn's hexagon recreated in the laboratory

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/04 12:32 CDT | 9 comments

A lot of readers have expressed interest in the origin of Saturn's north polar hexagon. The hexagon is a long-lived pattern in the clouds surrounding Saturn's north pole, which has been observed since the Voyagers passed by in 1980 and 1981.

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Space carnival, rover update, Planetary Radio Live!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/03 04:01 CDT

Space carnival, rover update, Planetary Radio Live!

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Snapshots from the move, part 1

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/02 11:46 CDT

Snapshots from the move, part 1

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The Planetary Society is moving on up

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/30 04:41 CDT

The Planetary Society is moving on up

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What's up in the solar system in May 2010

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/30 02:20 CDT

What's up in the solar system in May 2010

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Naming X: A contest for kids to name small bodies

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/29 02:44 CDT

Naming X: A contest for kids to name small bodies

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Arecibo saves us from another potentially hazardous asteroid

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/29 02:04 CDT

Arecibo saves us from another potentially hazardous asteroid

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How radio telescopes get "images" of asteroids

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/29 02:04 CDT

How radio telescopes get "images" of asteroids

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Spirit: Schrödinger's Rover

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/28 12:01 CDT

Either Spirit is the longest-lived landed Mars mission ever, or she is not. We won't know for certain unless we manage to observe a radio signal from her.

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New names for Rhea

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/27 02:08 CDT

New names for Rhea

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APOLLO program pinpoints location of Lunokhod 1 retroreflector

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/26 05:37 CDT

APOLLO program pinpoints location of Lunokhod 1 retroreflector

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3D Anaglyph: Weird channels of Olympica Fossae

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/26 05:05 CDT

3D Anaglyph: Weird channels of Olympica Fossae

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Hubble turns 20

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/23 03:02 CDT

Hubble turns 20

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Anticipating the end of Hayabusa

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/23 02:08 CDT

A successful sample return for the Hayabusa mission will mean the fiery death of Mr. Hayabusa himself. The poignancy of this is not lost upon the people in Japan who are following the mission.

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Titan and Dione: The same, but different

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/22 05:29 CDT

Here's a new lovely color composition of Titan and Dione captured by Cassini. This one was taken on April 20, 2010; a set of 15 raw images taken of the two moons just showed up on the Cassini raw images website.

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More detail on the Hayabusa return timeline

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/22 04:25 CDT

JAXA has issued a notice with a little bit more detail on the timeline for Hayabusa's return to Earth.

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Solar Dynamics Observatory unveils "first light" movies

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/21 02:06 CDT

Solar Dynamics Observatory unveils "first light" movies

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Discovery's penultimate mission to the Space Station

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/21 01:09 CDT

Discovery's penultimate mission to the Space Station

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Hayabusa's coming home

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/21 10:12 CDT

It really looks like Hayabusa is going to make it home. Hayabusa's sample return capsule will be returning to Earth on June 13, 2010, landing in the Woomera Prohibited Area, Australia at about 14:00 UTC.

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Hey, I'm on APOD today!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/20 04:02 CDT

Hey, I'm on APOD today!

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Volcanism across the solar system: Earth

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/20 03:26 CDT

Volcanism across the solar system: Earth

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A calming Titan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/19 03:35 CDT

Usually I like Mondays, but today I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. When I get overwhelmed, I look at pictures from Cassini.

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Bill Nye on Planetary Radio, and Space Carnival #150

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/19 02:38 CDT

Bill Nye on Planetary Radio, and Space Carnival #150

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21 Lutetia, Rosetta's July target

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/16 01:13 CDT

21 Lutetia, Rosetta's July target

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Some Pictures from President Obama's Florida Space Conference

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/15 05:41 CDT

Some Pictures from President Obama's Florida Space Conference

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Programming note: Florida space conference

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/15 01:00 CDT

Programming note: Florida space conference

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What it looks like when a CME explodes toward us

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/14 11:46 CDT

What it looks like when a CME explodes toward us

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No signal from Phoenix

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/14 12:40 CDT

No signal from Phoenix

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Stellar explosion

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/13 11:13 CDT

Stellar explosion

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Dione and Titan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/12 05:03 CDT

Dione and Titan

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A feast of pretty pictures from Cassini

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/12 01:28 CDT

A feast of pretty pictures from Cassini

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Hayabusa update: a little east of Pollux

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/12 11:45 CDT

The first of what will be five trajectory correction maneuvers (TCMs) is "successfully completed," according to an update posted to the JAXA website.

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Venus Express evidence for recent hot-spot volcanism on Venus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/09 04:51 CDT

Venus Express evidence for recent hot-spot volcanism on Venus

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A busy day for Cassini: Dione plus bonus Enceladus and Janus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/08 12:39 CDT

A busy day for Cassini: Dione plus bonus Enceladus and Janus

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Pretty (strange) picture from HiRISE: Dust flow crater?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/08 11:38 CDT

Yesterday was the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE team's latest flood of archived images, 1,025 of them. I skipped forward to page 42 (what other number would I pick?) and started browsing from there.

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Carnival of Space #148

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/07 04:43 CDT

Carnival of Space #148

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Water on the Moon: Direct evidence from Chandrayaan-1's Moon Impact Probe

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/07 04:03 CDT

Water on the Moon: Direct evidence from Chandrayaan-1's Moon Impact Probe

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Planetary Radio LIVE!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/07 02:25 CDT

Planetary Radio LIVE!

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Pretty picture: Rhea, rings, and two little moons

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/06 03:07 CDT

Pretty picture: Rhea, rings, and two little moons

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Pretty picture: Fly through the aurora

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/05 04:37 CDT

Pretty picture: Fly through the aurora

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Strong geomagnetic storm today

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/05 09:18 CDT

Strong geomagnetic storm today

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My arduous journey to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera images

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/02 02:41 CDT

My arduous journey to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera images

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Pretty picture: An unexplained chain of elliptical craters on the Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/02 02:41 CDT

Pretty picture: An unexplained chain of elliptical craters on the Moon

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HiWish fulfilled (or, be careful what you HiWish for)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/01 03:48 CDT

HiWish fulfilled (or, be careful what you HiWish for)

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Quaoar: A rock in the Kuiper Belt

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/01 12:48 CDT

The paper I'm writing about today, "Quaoar: a Rock in the Kuiper Belt," is based upon seven sets of Hubble Space Telescope WFPC2 observations of Quaoar and its recently-named moon, Weywot.

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Sweet dreams, Spirit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/31 06:48 CDT

Spirit had been communicating on a once-per-week schedule in recent weeks. During the designated time for the rover to communicate with NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter passing overhead on March 30, Odyssey heard nothing from the rover.

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What's up in the solar system in April 2010

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/31 12:07 CDT

What's up in the solar system in April 2010

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Downloading the "First Voyage into the PDS" class

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/30 04:07 CDT

Downloading the "First Voyage into the PDS" class

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Mimas' cold region: another new mystery for Cassini to explore

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/29 05:19 CDT

Mimas' cold region: another new mystery for Cassini to explore

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Space Imaging 3: First Voyage into the PDS

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/28 11:24 CDT

Space Imaging 3: First Voyage into the PDS

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Opportunity's at the twin craters

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/27 05:09 CDT

Just a little update here to post a Navcam panorama from Opportunity showing that the rover successfully arrived yesterday at the doublet crater she's been aiming for since she left Concepcion a couple of weeks ago.

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Happy, happy day: We may see the right MastCam on MSL after all

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/26 12:01 CDT

Happy, happy day: We may see the right MastCam on MSL after all

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Hayabusa update: Traverse to night-side approach successful

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/26 11:27 CDT

Hayabusa's mission team has successfully shifted the little spacecraft's approach trajectory from the day side to the night side of Earth, a critical maneuver for the survival of the sample return capsule.

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In which I dip my toes into an ocean of Hubble data

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/25 02:21 CDT

In which I dip my toes into an ocean of Hubble data

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Opportunity at Concepción from orbit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/24 03:01 CDT

Opportunity at Concepción from orbit

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Carnival of Space #146

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/24 11:43 CDT

Carnival of Space #146

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What planet is THIS?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/23 01:18 CDT

What planet is THIS?

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Hayabusa update: Last modifications to Earth return trajectory

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/23 01:09 CDT

An update on Hayabusa posted to the JAXA website by project manager Junichiro Kawaguchi.

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Where neon falls like rain

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/22 05:00 CDT

Where neon falls like rain

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A new view of Callisto

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/22 04:34 CDT

A new view of Callisto

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LROC spots Russian "monument" to International Women's Day

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/19 09:25 CDT

LROC spots Russian "monument" to International Women's Day

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Akatsuki arrives at Tanegashima Space Center

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/19 03:57 CDT

The Akatsuki spacecraft (also known as PLANET-C or Venus Climate Orbiter) arrived this evening, Japanese time, at the Tanegashima Space Center.

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A trio of pretty Cassini pics

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/19 02:19 CDT

A trio of pretty Cassini pics

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Making a difference through the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/18 04:39 CDT

Making a difference through the Shoemaker NEO Grants

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And now for Luna 17 and Lunokhod 1

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/17 04:39 CDT

And now for Luna 17 and Lunokhod 1

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Propose for a Shoemaker Near Earth Object Grant

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/17 01:39 CDT

Propose for a Shoemaker Near Earth Object Grant

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Lunokhod found on the Moon -- and on Earth, too

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/17 12:26 CDT

Yesterday I posted a bit of a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter camera image showing the tracks of the Russian Lunokhod 2 rover. Today, I can post for you an image showing the rover's final resting place

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Titan: Callisto with weather

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/16 05:18 CDT | 2 comments

Titan: Callisto with weather

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The far side of Phobos

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/16 09:47 CDT

The far side of Phobos

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Soviet landers Luna 20, 23, and 24, plus the tracks of Lunokhod 2

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/15 10:55 CDT

Soviet landers Luna 20, 23, and 24, plus the tracks of Lunokhod 2

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Phobos from Mars Express

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/15 10:30 CDT

Phobos from Mars Express

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LPSC: Wrapping up Tuesday: The Moon, Mars, Mercury, Vesta, and back to Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/12 01:27 CST

LPSC: Wrapping up Tuesday: The Moon, Mars, Mercury, Vesta, and back to Mars

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Pretty pictures: Europa from Galileo and Voyager

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/12 11:24 CST

Pretty pictures: Europa from Galileo and Voyager

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Helene has two faces

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/11 10:59 CST

Helene has two faces

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LPSC: Venus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/10 02:16 CST

LPSC: Venus

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Pointing at Helene

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/10 11:40 CST

Pointing at Helene

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