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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!

Curiosity update, sols 864-895: Drilling at Pink Cliffs

Emily Lakdawalla • February 20, 2015

Curiosity's second drilling campaign at the foot of Mount Sharp is complete. The rover spent about a month near Pink Cliffs, an area at the base of the Pahrump Hills outcrop, drilling and documenting a site named Mojave, where lighter-colored crystals were scattered through a very fine-grained rock.

Mars Orbiter Mission images Mars' moons, including the far side of Deimos

Emily Lakdawalla • February 04, 2015 • 2

Today I'm excited to show you some previously unreleased images from Mars Orbiter Mission, containing Mars' moons Phobos and Deimos.

Curiosity update, sols 814-863: Pahrump Hills Walkabout, part 2

Emily Lakdawalla • January 21, 2015 • 5

Curiosity has spent the last two months completing a second circuit of the Pahrump Hills field site, gathering APXS and MAHLI data. The work has been hampered by the loss of the ChemCam focusing laser, but the team is developing a workaround. Over the holidays, the rover downlinked many Gigabits of image data. The rover is now preparing for a drilling campaign.

Beagle 2 found?

Emily Lakdawalla • January 16, 2015 • 5

What happened to Beagle 2? It's been a mystery for 11 years. That mystery appears to have been solved.

Curiosity results from AGU: Methane is there, and it's variable

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2014 • 6

At the American Geophysical Union meeting, the Curiosity mission announced that an instrument had finally definitively detected methane in Mars' atmosphere. It exists at a low background level, but there was a spike to about ten times that, which lasted for a couple of months before disappearing. What that means is unclear.

HiRISE image coverage of the Curiosity field site on Mars, Version 2.0

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2014 • 1

There have been tons and tons of HiRISE images of the Curiosity landing region, and it has taken quite a lot of work for me to find, locate, and catalogue them. This post is a summary of what I've found; after four revisions and updates, it's now version 2.0 of the list.

Curiosity update, sols 782-813: Walking the outcrop at Pahrump Hills

Emily Lakdawalla • November 19, 2014

At Pahrump Hills, Curiosity is becoming the field geologist she was intended to be.

Seven Mars spacecraft attempted observations of comet Siding Spring. How did they go?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 03, 2014 • 6

It's been two weeks since comet Siding Spring passed close by Mars, and six of the seven Mars spacecraft have now checked in with quick looks at their images of the encounter. I round up all the results.

GSA 2014: The puzzle of Gale crater's basaltic sedimentary rocks

Emily Lakdawalla • October 23, 2014 • 15

At the Geological Society of America conference this week, Curiosity scientists dug into the geology of Gale crater and shared puzzling results about the nature of the rocks that the rover has found there.

Watching Siding Spring's encounter with Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • October 17, 2014 • 5

The nucleus of comet Siding Spring passes close by Mars on Sunday, October 19, at 18:27 UTC. Here are links to webcasts and websites that should have updates throughout the encounter.

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