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!
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Since my last update, Curiosity drilled two new holes, at Big Sky and Greenhorn, and is now approaching Bagnold Dunes.
This is the first major meeting since Dawn's arrival at Ceres, and despite competition with Pluto surface science there was a well-attended Ceres talk session on Monday and poster session on Tuesday.
For my first post on results from the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting, I'm going to tell you about Pluto's small moons: Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra, their bright colors and wacky rotation states.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/11/08 05:54 CST
I'll be reporting all week from Washington, D.C. from the 47th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society. Expect lots of news from New Horizons, Dawn, Cassini, MAVEN, WISE, and Rosetta missions, not to mention ground-based telescopes, plus a variety of other sources.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/11/04 07:15 CST
There have been several important pieces of news about European missions in the last month: Rosetta's fate has been determined; ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's launch is slightly delayed; and they have selected a landing site for the ExoMars rover.
I have a newly updated scale comparison graphic to share: all the round worlds in the solar system smaller than 10,000 kilometers in diameter, now with added Pluto, Charon, and Ceres.
A few days ago, Dawn officially released the first big pile of data from the Ceres mission phase. Thanks to the public release, I can show you color global portraits of Ceres.
A couple of days ago, Cassini flew past Enceladus for its 20th targeted encounter. Cassini has seen and photographed quite a lot of Enceladus before, but there's still new terrain for it to cover.
Behold: the story of how our solar system began, in one chart. This is the second installment in a series of planetary scientists' favorite plots. Today's #FaveAstroPlot was suggested by spectroscopist Michael Bramble.
Last week, the pile of New Horizons LORRI camera raw image releases included nine frames from a high-resolution mosaic on Charon. Together with the color MVIC view, they make a 3D global photo of Pluto's moon. Other recently released goodies include a global backlit color image of Pluto and the first image that resolves the tiny moon Styx.