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Blogs

Our journalists and guest bloggers bring you stunning imagery and the space stories that matter most.

A Spin Through the Inner Solar System

Bill Dunford • February 24, 2014 • 1

Animated maps of the planets show the spheres in motion.

Dawn Journal: Onward to Ceres

Marc Rayman • February 01, 2014 • 4

The majority of Dawn's time in the Ceres approach phase will be devoted to continuing ion-powered flight. Let’s take another look at how this remarkable technology is used to deliver the adventurer to the desired orbit around Ceres.

Dawn Journal: Planning for the Ceres Approach Phase

Marc Rayman • January 01, 2014 • 4

Now more than halfway through its journey from protoplanet Vesta to dwarf planet Ceres, Dawn is continuing to use its advanced ion propulsion system to reshape its orbit around the sun. Now that the ship is closer to the uncharted shores ahead than the lands it unveiled astern, we will begin looking at the plans for exploring another alien world.

What's up in planetary missions in 2014

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2013 • 4

With the New Year upon us, what can we look forward to in 2014? For me, the main event of 2014 is that ESA's Rosetta mission finally -- finally! -- catches up to the comet it has been chasing for a decade. We will lose LADEE, gain two Mars orbiters, and launch Hayabusa2. The year begins with an amazing 24 spacecraft exploring or cruising toward various planetary destinations.

Dawn Journal: Equidistant from Vesta and Ceres

Marc Rayman • December 06, 2013 • 1

Gliding smoothly through the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Dawn continues to make good progress on its ambitious mission of exploration. It is patiently but persistently pursuing Ceres, the second destination on its interplanetary itinerary.

Dawn Journal: Thrusting Toward Ceres

Marc Rayman • November 03, 2013 • 1

Deep in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Dawn is continuing its smooth, silent flight toward dwarf planet Ceres. Far behind it now is the giant protoplanet Vesta, which the spacecraft transformed from a tiny splotch in the night sky to an exotic and richly detailed world.

Dawn Journal: Sixth anniversary of leaving Earth

Marc Rayman • September 28, 2013 • 2

On the sixth anniversary of leaving Earth to embark on a daring deep-space expedition, Dawn is very, very far from its erstwhile planetary residence. Now humankind's only permanent resident of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the seasoned explorer is making good progress toward the largest object in that part of the solar system, the mysterious dwarf planet Ceres.

Mission Leader Bruce Jakosky's MAVEN Prepares for Mars

Mat Kaplan • September 17, 2013

Pay attention! This Mars orbiter, headed for launch in November, is a terrific science mission, as Mat Kaplan learned in a recent workshop, and in this week's Planetary Radio.

Two new ways to browse Vesta: 2. Vesta Image data browser

Emily Lakdawalla • September 16, 2013

A few weeks ago I received an email pointing me to a really cool new map-based browser to Dawn's Vesta image data.

Two new ways to browse Vesta: 1. Vesta Low-Altitude Mapping Orbit (LAMO) Atlas

Emily Lakdawalla • September 16, 2013

Last week was the European Planetary Science Congress in London, and there's been a lot of science news. One thing that caught my eye Friday was the publication of a new atlas for Vesta.

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