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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Video: Two talks featuring pretty pictures from space

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

10-06-2016 13:30 CDT

Topics: amateur image processing, podcasts and videos, Venus

Here are videos of two recent talks I've given, one intended for a general audience and one aimed at professionals (though still full of tons of pretty pictures). Both are about an hour long. Enjoy! To see all the great amateur-processed images that I feature in these talks, visit The Planetary Society's amateur image library at

What’s Up in Space?

Amherst College Reunion Weekend, May 23, 2016

I spoke to an audience that ranged in age from under 6 to the class of 1956 about the adventures and science of active space missions, focusing on Venus science, Dawn's mission to Vesta and Ceres, and what New Horizons found at Pluto.

Seeing the Solar System through Robot Eyes:  The International Community of Space Image Data Artists and the Golden Age of Planetary Exploration

STScI Engineering and Technology Colloquium, June 7, 2016

I spoke to a professional audience at the Space Telescope Science Institute about the impact that accessible image data from space missions has had on the public, explaining what the public's goals are when processing image data, and making suggestions for how professionals can support and benefit from the great work being done by amateurs.

See other posts from June 2016


Or read more blog entries about: amateur image processing, podcasts and videos, Venus


masanori: 06/13/2016 09:24 CDT

Thank you very much Emily for telling to public about Akatsuki mission. Two things: Yesterday one of Japanese major medias showed a video of Nakamura sensei, the project manager, telling that that streak in the orange LIR image showed up again in April. But the video must have been an edited segment of what he said, so I don't know if it's really what he tried to mean. As for "I'll Be Back!" image. As far as I know, that image is a fan-made, not the project's or JAXA's official one. But the two characters in the image, Akatsuki-kun (=Akatsuki spacecraft) & Kinsei-chan (=Venus), are definitely created by the project. Not asked someone outside the project to create. And what I think public should not misunderstand is: To the public the project had not kept repeating "I'll Be Back!" kind of comment (which might sounds fine but explaining nothing) during the 5 years before the Venus arrival. Instead they had kept explaining their latest plan/strategy & latest status of Akatsuki in humble & friendly fashion (So people like me were like always seeing what difficulties Akatsuki was facing). They were like sharing anything, in which I had seen signs again & again which suggested that deep in their hearts the project had quiet-but-burning spirit to bring Akatsuki into the Venus orbit. During the press conference on 9th Nov 2015, Nakamura sensei revealed this episode: The other day NASA contacted the project when DSN was tracking Akatsuki, saying Akatsuki's signal disappeared, and the members thought the time had come at last & they were to accept the fate & no one went panic (Start at 1:11:55 in ). What this story tells about their attitude sounds quite matching with their attitude I (and probably others) have seen during the 5 years. I think that's one of the biggest reasons why they got public support.

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