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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.

Dwarf planet, wassup?

Emily Lakdawalla • August 16, 2013 • 4

In which the fifth graders of Kipp Heartwood Academy argue the competing sides in the is-Pluto-a-planet debate through the medium of rap.

Pluto on the Eve of Exploration by New Horizons: Is there an ocean, or not?

Emily Lakdawalla • August 02, 2013 • 5

Does Pluto have an ocean under its ice? If it doesn't now, did it ever have one? How will we know?

Pluto on the Eve of Exploration by New Horizons: Small moons, dust, surfaces, interiors

Emily Lakdawalla • July 24, 2013 • 5

My roundup from notes on the day's presentations on dust in the Pluto system and the surfaces and interiors of Pluto and Charon.

Pluto on the Eve of New Horizons: Webcast tonight

Emily Lakdawalla • July 23, 2013 • 3

I'm off for the airport to fly to the East Coast to participate in the scientific conference "The Pluto System on the Eve of Exploration by New Horizons."

New names for Pluto's little moons Kerberos and Styx; and a new moon for Neptune

Emily Lakdawalla • July 15, 2013 • 5

Pluto's moons, formerly known as "P4" and "P5," are now named Kerberos and Styx; I thought I'd help place them into context with a little help from Cassini. Also, Neptune now has a 14th known moon.

Great News: New Horizons to "stay the course" at Pluto

Emily Lakdawalla • June 17, 2013

This is extremely good news: after more than a year of analysis, the New Horizons mission and NASA have concluded and agreed that New Horizons' originally-planned trajectory past Pluto is likely safe from dust.

Pluto's seasons and what New Horizons may find when it passes by

Emily Lakdawalla • May 02, 2013 • 5

New Horizons might see a Pluto with a northern polar cap, a southern polar cap, or both caps, according to work by Leslie Young.

When will New Horizons have better views of Pluto than Hubble does?

Emily Lakdawalla • February 18, 2013 • 8

Last week, I posted an explainer on why Hubble's images of galaxies show so much more detail than its images of Pluto. Then I set you all a homework problem: when will New Horizons be able to see Pluto better than Hubble does? Here's the answer.

Why can Hubble get detailed views of distant galaxies but not of Pluto?

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2013 • 22

How come Hubble's pictures of galaxies billions of light years away are so beautifully detailed, yet the pictures of Pluto, which is so much closer, are just little blobs? I get asked this question, or variations of it, a lot. Here's an explainer.

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