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Snapshots from Space

by Emily Lakdawalla

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Emily Lakdawalla

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Follow the thrilling adventures of planetary missions, past and present, and see the stunningly beautiful photos that they return from space!

DPS/EPSC update: 2007 OR10 has a moon!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2016 • 5

The third-largest object known beyond Neptune, 2007 OR10, has a moon. The discovery was reported in a poster by Gábor Marton, Csaba Kiss, and Thomas Mueller at the joint meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society (DPS/EPSC) on Monday.

A moon with atmosphere

Emily Lakdawalla • April 08, 2015 • 10

What is the solar system moon with the densest atmosphere? Most space fans know that the answer is Titan. A few of you might know that Triton's is the next densest. But what's the third? Fourth? Do any other moons even have atmospheres? In fact, they do; and one such atmosphere has just been discovered.

An internal ocean on Ganymede: Hooray for consistency with previous results!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 12, 2015 • 8

A newly published paper confirms a subsurface ocean at Ganymede. An ocean there was already suspected from its magnetic field and predicted by geophysics; new Hubble data confirms it, and even says it is in the same place we thought it was before. Such consistency is rare enough in planetary science to be worth celebration.

Mars Orbiter Mission delivers on promise of global views of Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2014 • 18

Ever since I first learned about the capabilities of Mars Orbiter Mission's small payload of science instruments, I have been anticipating one type of data in particular: global color views of Mars captured in a single 2000-pixel-square frame. Just days after entering orbit, Mars Orbiter Mission has delivered on that promise.

Hubble to the rescue! The last-ditch effort to discover a Kuiper belt target for New Horizons

Emily Lakdawalla • June 17, 2014 • 5

Will New Horizons have a mission after Pluto? Ground-based searches have failed to turn up anything that New Horizons can reach. Now Hubble is joining the search, but time is running out: a discovery must be made within the next two months.

Predicting Pluto's moons and moondust

Emily Lakdawalla • February 19, 2014 • 2

Why didn't we discover Pluto's moons until more than a decade after Hubble launched? Mark Showalter helps me answer this question.

Super-close supernova in M82

Emily Lakdawalla • January 22, 2014 • 8

The astronomy world is all a-twitter this morning over the discovery of a new supernova in M82, a galaxy that's in our astronomical backyard, "only" 12 million light-years away. And early word is that it appears to be a Type Ia supernova, the kind that's used as a standard candle to measure the expansion of the universe.

In his own words: Mike Massimino on how he "nearly broke" Hubble

Emily Lakdawalla • September 05, 2013

In an enthralling article for Esquire magazine, astronaut Mike Massimino writes about nearly failing to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, and how the people of Earth came to his rescue.

Lesser-known views of Uranus and Neptune

Emily Lakdawalla • May 28, 2013 • 9

Despite the fact that Voyager 2 returned relatively few high-resolution images from either Uranus or Neptune, there are many more photos in the archives than regularly make it to public view.

Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: The Ice Giants, with Heidi Hammel

Emily Lakdawalla • April 11, 2013 • 5

My guest this was Planetary Society Board vice president Heidi Hammel. We discussed two planets near and dear to our hearts, Neptune and Uranus. What's new on these icy worlds since Voyager 2 passed by, and what are the prospects for their future exploration?

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