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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!

From Mercury orbit, MESSENGER watches a lunar eclipse

Emily Lakdawalla • October 10, 2014 • 3

Watch as our enormous moon -- a quarter the diameter of the planet -- just winks out as it passes into Earth's long shadow, in an animation captured from more than 100 million kilometers away.

What did Dawn learn at Vesta?

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2014 • 12

It's now been two years since Dawn wrapped up its work at the second-largest asteroid. What else did we get from the Vesta encounter besides great photos? Recently, I asked Dawn's deputy project scientist, Carol Raymond, for help in summarizing a few of the big things Dawn taught us.

New global Mars image from Mars Orbiter Mission features Gale crater

Emily Lakdawalla • October 07, 2014 • 4

ISRO has released a second global image of Mars from the Mars Colour Camera on Mars Orbiter Mission, and smack dab in the center of it is Gale crater, home to Curiosity.

Mattias Malmer's amazing 3D views of Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Emily Lakdawalla • October 02, 2014 • 5

I'm thrilled to be able to share with you all a spectacular set of images of Rosetta's comet, produced from NavCam data by a master space image processing enthusiast.

Brief mission update: Hayabusa2 has a launch date!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2014 • 1

JAXA announced the launch date for their Hayabusa2 asteroid sample return mission today: November 30 at 13:24:48 Japan standard time (04:24:48 UT / November 29 at 20:24:48 PST)

Curiosity update, sols 748-763: Driving and Drilling at Pahrump Hills

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2014 • 10

The biggest news on Curiosity of late is that the rover has drilled her fourth full drill hole on Mars! Drilling happened at a site called "Confidence Hills" on sol 759. But before she did that, she took a long series of amazing photos of rock formations at Jubilee Pass, Panamint Butte, and Upheaval Dome.

Mars Orbiter Mission delivers on promise of global views of Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2014 • 18

Ever since I first learned about the capabilities of Mars Orbiter Mission's small payload of science instruments, I have been anticipating one type of data in particular: global color views of Mars captured in a single 2000-pixel-square frame. Just days after entering orbit, Mars Orbiter Mission has delivered on that promise.

Philae's landing day announced as Rosetta swings to comet's dark side

Emily Lakdawalla • September 26, 2014 • 2

ESA announced today that Philae will be landing on November 12, 2014. What time the landing occurs depends on which landing site they use. If they go to the prime landing site, "site J," Earth should receive word of the successful landing at 16:00 UTC (08:00 PST). If they go to the backup site, "site C," news will reach Earth at about 17:30 UTC (09:30 PST). Mark your calendars!

MAVEN returns first images of Mars' atmosphere

Emily Lakdawalla • September 24, 2014 • 1

On Sepember 22 at 02:24 UTC, Earth received word that MAVEN had ended its orbit insertion burn on time, completing its journey to Mars. Today MAVEN has released some of its very first data, taken by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph just eight hours after arrival.

Reflecting on the success of Mars Orbiter Mission

Emily Lakdawalla • September 24, 2014 • 13

Mars Orbiter Mission successfully arrived at Mars on September 24, 2014, India's first interplanetary mission. What does this mean for India?

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