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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!

What's up in planetary missions in 2014

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2013 • 4

With the New Year upon us, what can we look forward to in 2014? For me, the main event of 2014 is that ESA's Rosetta mission finally -- finally! -- catches up to the comet it has been chasing for a decade. We will lose LADEE, gain two Mars orbiters, and launch Hayabusa2. The year begins with an amazing 24 spacecraft exploring or cruising toward various planetary destinations.

Mars' chemical history: Phyllosian, Theiikian, Siderikian, oh my

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2013 • 4

I'm returning to the deep dive into the literature that began with articles about lunar basins and then explored the geologic time scales of Earth, Moon, and Mars. Now it's time to catch up to the last decade of Mars research and learn what "phyllosian", "theiikian", and "siderikian" eras are.

Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian, oh my! --Mars' Geologic Time Scale

Emily Lakdawalla • October 25, 2013 • 4

The Martian Geologic Time Scale is a lot more complicated than the Moon's.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter achieves imaging of comet ISON from Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • October 02, 2013 • 2

Yesterday, the much-anticipated comet ISON made its closest pass by Mars. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's HiRISE camera is the first to achieve a positive detection of the somewhat-fainter-than-expected comet in its photos.

Planetary Geomorphology Image of the Month: Water tracks on Earth and Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • July 18, 2013 • 3

The International Association of Geomorphologists' "planetary geomorphology image of the month," contributed by Joe Levy, features water tracks on Earth and compares them to recurring slope lineae on Mars.

A new HiRISE view of Opportunity (sol 3361)

Emily Lakdawalla • July 17, 2013

The HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has snapped a lovely color photo of the rim of Endeavour crater, catching Opportunity midway between Nobby's Head and Solander Point.

Enormously detailed photo of Kasei Valles from Mars Express

Emily Lakdawalla • June 19, 2013 • 7

ESA celebrated the tenth anniversary of Mars Express' launch with a several-day science meeting during which they issued lots of press releases and numerous spectacular photos. My favorite of them all is this enormous image of Kasei Valles on Mars.

LPSC 2013: watery Martian minerals

Emily Lakdawalla • March 28, 2013 • 3

Some interesting results from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference on clay minerals on Mars and what they might mean about ancient water.

A new rover self-portrait and a new color image of Curiosity from orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • February 04, 2013 • 7

Curiosity is inching her way through her first use of the drill on a Martian rock. She paused in the proceedings to capture a second Martian "selfie."

Pretty picture: new HiRISE view of Curiosity, sol 145

Emily Lakdawalla • January 16, 2013 • 2

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured a new view of Curiosity on Mars on January 2 (sol 145). Curiosity was in the same location as the one from which it shot the sol 137 panorama I posted earlier. You can see the rover's tracks leading all the way back to the landing site!

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