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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!

Dust on, dust off: Before-and-after comparisons of rover decks on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • May 19, 2014 • 6

Curiosity and Opportunity self-portraits show one rover accumulating dust, the other losing it. Check out these cool before-and-after comparisons.

A Martian analemma

Emily Lakdawalla • May 06, 2014 • 4

A Mars year's worth of Sun images from Opportunity demonstrates Mars' orbital motions as reflected in the changing apparent position of the Sun: the analemma.

Look how clean Opportunity is now!

Emily Lakdawalla • April 09, 2014 • 1

While climbing Murray Ridge, Opportunity enjoyed a major cleaning event that has left the rover's solar panels more dust-free than they have been in years. The rover captured a pretty panorama of the newly clean deck with its Pancams, and James Sorenson processed the version shown here.

A new map of Mars from some pretty old data

Emily Lakdawalla • March 04, 2014 • 3

The United States Geological Survey recently issued an improved version of the Viking color map of Mars. This 40-year-old data set still provides the prettiest global-scale map of the planet.

Blast from the past: Spirit sunrise panorama at Troy

Emily Lakdawalla • January 14, 2014

In honor of the 10th anniversary of Spirit's landing on Mars, here is a new view from near the end of that mission.

Looking back at 10 years of imaging by the Mars Exploration Rovers (Video)

Emily Lakdawalla • January 03, 2014 • 5

As part of the Planetary Society's celebration of the Mars Exploration Rovers' ten years on Mars, Jim Bell and I got together to look back at and tell stories about some of the great images they took.

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.

Hangout on Air Friday, December 27 14:00 UT: Student Astronaut 10th Reunion

Emily Lakdawalla • December 27, 2013

When Spirit and Opportunity landed in 2004, I was with the science team in charge of a group of high-school students called the Red Rover Goes to Mars Student Astronauts. We're coming up on the 10th anniversary of the landings -- what have those "kids" grown up into?

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.

Features at both rover field sites on Mars named for Bruce Murray

Emily Lakdawalla • November 14, 2013

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced today that the geologists on both Mars rover teams -- Opportunity and Curiosity -- have named landmarks at their field sites after the late Bruce Murray.

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