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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!

Explore spinnable Saturn and Jupiter moons with Google Maps

Emily Lakdawalla • October 27, 2017 • 2

Google Maps released several new map products that allow you to see the locations of named features on many solar system planets and non-planets, spinning them around in space with your mouse.

Video: Two talks featuring pretty pictures from space

Emily Lakdawalla • June 10, 2016 • 1

Videos of two recent talks I've given, one intended for a general audience and one aimed at professionals.

Akatsuki begins a productive science mission at Venus

Emily Lakdawalla • May 19, 2016 • 4

Japan's Akatsuki Venus orbiter is well into its science mission, and has already produced surprising science results. The mission, originally planned to last two years, could last as many as five, monitoring Venus' atmosphere over the long term.

Akatsuki's new orbit, first images, and science plans

Emily Lakdawalla • December 09, 2015 • 9

JAXA had a press briefing today to confirm the successful arrival of Akatsuki into Venus orbit. It's been a long time coming: today's announcement came twelve years to the day after Japan had to abandon efforts to put Nozomi into Mars orbit. They released lovely images and discussed future plans.

Transient hot spots on Venus: Best evidence yet for active volcanism

Emily Lakdawalla • June 18, 2015 • 3

In a paper released in Geophysical Research Letters today, Eugene Shalygin and coauthors have announced the best evidence yet for current, active volcanism on Venus. The evidence comes from the Venus Monitoring Camera, which saw transient hot spots in four locations along a system of rifts near Venus' equator. They saw the hot spots in two distinct episodes in 2008 and 2009.

Close to the end for Venus Express

Emily Lakdawalla • November 24, 2014

Venus Express is nearly out of fuel. Any day could be the last of its long mission to Venus.

Skimming the inner planets: Updates on MESSENGER and Venus Express

Emily Lakdawalla • June 24, 2014 • 1

The two spacecraft currently orbiting the two innermost planets are both flying low in their orbits in the final phases of their missions. MESSENGER just performed a rocket burn to raise its orbit slightly, while Venus Express did the opposite.

Polar vortices across the solar system

Emily Lakdawalla • January 09, 2014 • 2

Earth's polar vortex has been in the American news all week. But we're not the only planet that has one; basically every world that has an atmosphere has a polar vortex. Here are lots of pretty pictures and animations of polar vortices.

Pretty picture: Two crescents: New moon, old Venus

Emily Lakdawalla • January 02, 2014 • 6

A baby Moon and aging Venus crescents are positioned close in the sky today, and lots of people are taking beautiful photos.

Results of ten Venus years of cloud tracking by Venus Express

Emily Lakdawalla • August 29, 2013 • 5

What Venus Express' Visual Monitoring Camera images of Venus have taught us about the motions of Venus' atmosphere.

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