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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!

Danes on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • July 17, 2008

I was delighted to receive an email from Morten Bo Madsen, who I knew from the Mars Exploration Rover mission as "that Danish magnet guy," the fellow responsible for the magnet experiments on nearly every American Mars mission. The magnets were originally designed to study the properties of airborne Martian dust, which would help determine its composition.

More things to see in the amazing HiRISE image of Phoenix' descent

Emily Lakdawalla • July 10, 2008

I have posted several times about the amazing photo captured by HiRISE of Phoenix under its parachute as it descended. There have been two common questions I've received about the photo: was there any color data taken, and what more can I tell you about how hard it was to take the photo? I've got answers to both questions for you today.

Opportunity route map update

Emily Lakdawalla • July 09, 2008

Eduardo Tesheiner was kind enough to send me an updated version of his route map for Opportunity so we can get a sense of just how close the rover is getting to Cape Verde.

Yep, it's ice!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 20, 2008

The Phoenix mission confirmed it this morning: the disappearing act pulled by those chunks of bright material in the Dodo trench pretty much nails the identification of the bright material as ice, which is great news for the mission. Ice is what Phoenix went all the way to Mars to study; it's what the team has been aiming for all these years.

Sands on Earth, Sands on Mars

Jim Bell • June 13, 2008

One of the ways that planetary scientists try to understand the origin and evolution of landforms on other planets is by studying similar kinds of landforms or "analogs" here on the Earth. For the past few days I've been working with a group of colleagues doing just that--specifically, studying dunes in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in order to try to better understand the nature of sand dunes on Mars.

Phoenix Sol 2 press conference, in a nutshell

Emily Lakdawalla • May 27, 2008

Emily hits the high points of today's press conference.

Some beautiful video from the Spirit and Opportunity landing sites

Emily Lakdawalla • May 12, 2008

A majority of the people who work in planetary geology are usually associated with one or maybe two missions, doing all their research on the results from one instrument on one mission. But there are a few people whose expertise cuts across many space missions, and an even smaller number of people who seem to work on almost everything. Randy Kirk is one of those people.

White Rock through the Ages: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2006-present)

Emily Lakdawalla • May 08, 2008

I apologize for the long hiatus in this White Rock series, but I hope this entry will be worth the wait.

What's up in the solar system for the week of April 28

Emily Lakdawalla • April 28, 2008

I thought it would be fun to start the week by taking stock of what's going on with all the active planetary missions out there.

Shadows cast from Victoria's capes and bays

Emily Lakdawalla • April 14, 2008

This is from the "just plain cool" department: An animation of the shadows of Victoria Crater as seen by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, courtesy of Doug Ellison.

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