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Emily's Blog

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!

Emily Lakdawalla

Latest Blog Posts:

Short updates on Akatsuki and Chang'e missions

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/01/06 02:50 CST | 1 comment

A few recent newspaper articles provide some updates on the status of Japan's Venus mission, Akatsuki, and the service module of China's Chang'e 5 test vehicle, Xiaofei. In brief: Akatsuki still plans to attempt to enter orbit in December of this year, while Chang'e 5 T1 is headed to lunar orbit. Meanwhile, the Chang'e 3 mission has released an interesting image of M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy.

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Planetary exploration in 2015: The Year of the Dwarf Planet

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/31 10:49 CST | 8 comments

Looking ahead to what we can expect from Earth's exploration of the rest of the solar system in 2015, there's an obvious theme: Dwarf planets.

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

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/30 04:21 CST | 6 comments

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.

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

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/30 02:35 CST | 1 comment

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.

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A new Chang'e 3 and Yutu image archive

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/19 02:25 CST

A treasure trove of newly released images from the Chang'e 3 program includes a photo sequence of a waxing Earth and lots of high-resolution views of rover and lander on the Moon.

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Reporting from the 2014 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/15 11:53 CST | 2 comments

In San Francisco, in an annual tradition, more than 20,000 geologists are descending on the Moscone Center. I'll be attending #AGU14 this week, but you can also watch press briefings and many of the sessions online.

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Brief Venus Express update: Not quite dead yet

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/11 07:06 CST | 1 comment

Venus Express is still alive and talking to Earth, but may fall into Venus' atmosphere in January.

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InSight assembly begins

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/11 10:31 CST

NASA's next Mars lander is becoming real, now under construction at Lockheed Martin.

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China plans a Mars rover and orbiter for 2020 launch opportunity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/09 10:44 CST | 3 comments

China is moving forward with plans to launch an orbiter and rover to Mars in the 2020 launch opportunity. The Mars program also includes plans for sample return in 2030.

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Ceres is round!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/05 02:44 CST | 3 comments

Okay, so the fact that Ceres is round is not news. It's still thrilling to see Ceres begin to come into focus as a round world.

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