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Snapshots from Space

by Emily Lakdawalla

Follow the thrilling adventures of planetary missions, past and present, and see the stunningly beautiful photos that they return from space!

The solar system at 1 kilometer per pixel: Can you identify these worlds?

Emily Lakdawalla • September 25, 2015 • 13

A look at the surfaces of 18 worlds in our solar system, all at the same scale.

Lose yourself in this high-resolution portrait of Pluto

Emily Lakdawalla • September 24, 2015 • 13

Enlarge this image to its full 8000-pixel-square glory and lose yourself in it.

Checking in on Uranus and Neptune, September 2015 edition

Emily Lakdawalla • September 22, 2015 • 5

There are no spacecraft at Uranus or Neptune, and there haven't been for 30 and 25 years, respectively. So we depend on Earth-based astronomers to monitor them, including Damian Peach.

Curiosity update, sols 1073-1107: Driving toward dunes, distracted by haloes

Emily Lakdawalla • September 18, 2015 • 1

Since I last checked in with Curiosity, the rover has been steadily driving southward, heading directly toward the Bagnold dune field. They are looking for a place to drill into the Stimson sandstone unit, but have been distracted by intriguing pale haloes around frock fractures. Despite a rough road, the wheels are not showing significant increase in damage.

Spectacular New Horizons photo of Pluto's hazes and mountains: How it was made

Emily Lakdawalla • September 17, 2015 • 11

Today, New Horizons released a stunning new image of Pluto's backlit mountains and hazes. I explain how the image was taken with its Ralph Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera.

Roundup of the September 11, 2015 New Horizons raw image release

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2015 • 4

Last Friday the Internet received its first post-encounter pile of goodies from the New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system.

How the duck got its neck: Rapid temperature changes from self-shadowing may explain 67P's unusual activity and shape

Emily Lakdawalla • September 11, 2015 • 5

When Rosetta approached comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko last summer, both its shape and its activity were surprising. It looked like two comets welded together at a skinny neck. A new paper explains how the neck may be steepening itself.

Pretty Pictures: Downlink of the Full New Horizons Data Set Has Begun

Emily Lakdawalla • September 10, 2015 • 7

New Horizons has begun the long process of downlinking all the images it acquired during its July Pluto flyby.

Dawn Ceres image bonanza: Grab your 3D glasses!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 09, 2015 • 4

For months, Dawn has been steadily, methodically sharing dozens of images of brand-new sights of a previously unexplored icy world. For the last couple of days I've been making up for lost time, completely buried in the Dawn Ceres images, and I have some maps and 3D anaglyphs to share with you.

Chang'e 5 test vehicle maps future sample return site

Emily Lakdawalla • September 03, 2015 • 4

This summer the Chinese space agency has been making progress toward its planned 2017 launch of the Chang'e 5 robotic sample return mission, performing low-altitude imaging of the future landing site.

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Emily Lakdwalla
The Planetary Fund

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