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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!

A close look at Saturn's closest moons

Emily Lakdawalla • June 26, 2014 • 1

A new composite image of the eight named moons that orbit closest to Saturn, and a list of all the best Cassini observations of these moons.

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.

Just what is going on in that magnificent Cassini image of Saturn?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 13, 2013 • 7

It took months of work (and no wonder) but the wait was worth it: here is Cassini's spectacular view of Saturn, captured on July 19, 2013, as Cassini passed through Saturn's shadow. If you're a little confused by the image, I'm here to help: I've posted a video explainer.

One for the history books: Stunning Saturn mosaic captured last week by Cassini

Emily Lakdawalla • October 16, 2013 • 5

I try to be measured in my praise for spacecraft images. Not every photo can be the greatest space image ever. But this enormous mosaic showing the flattened globe of Saturn floating within the complete disk of its rings must surely be counted among the great images of the Cassini mission.

Pretty picture: spectacular Saturn and Titan

Emily Lakdawalla • August 15, 2013 • 3

A lovely view of the ringed planet and its hazy moon seen from nearly behind them just a few days ago.

Pretty picture: Looking backward

Emily Lakdawalla • July 23, 2013 • 15

Here it is: the view from Saturn of our Earthly home, one and a half billion kilometers away. We see Earth and the Moon through a thin veil of faintly blue ice crystals, the outskirts of Saturn's E ring. Earth is just a bright dot -- a bit brighter than the other stars in the image, but no brighter than any planet (like Saturn!) in our own sky.

One of my favorite image processing tricks: colorizing images

Emily Lakdawalla • April 23, 2013 • 2

An easy image processing trick -- using lower-resolution color data to colorize a black-and-white photo -- is relied upon by many space missions to keep data volumes low. Here's how to do it.

That amazing image of Saturn's north pole just got better: now, it moves!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 28, 2012 • 2

Remember the amazing photo of Saturn's north pole that I posted yesterday? Now, thanks to an amateur image processor, it moves, and the motions of the individual clouds within the belts are mesmerizing.

Staring into Saturn's baleful eye

Emily Lakdawalla • November 27, 2012 • 12

Amazing photos have just come back from Cassini, of swirling clouds surrounding Saturn's north pole.

Happy Cassini PDS Release Day!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 08, 2012 • 2

It's a quarterly feast day for me: the day that the Cassini mission delivers three months' worth of data to NASA's Planetary Data System. Here's a few images processed from the October 1, 2012 data release.

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