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Tantalizing photos of Titan, Dione, Tethys, and Saturn

Emily Lakdawalla • May 23, 2011

It figures. I just start a three-week trip, with my only computer a diminutive Netbook, and guess what's just been radioed across the 1.3 billion kilometers separating us and Saturn? A set of photos that should become -- when properly processed -- an iconic image from Cassini's fourteen-year mission to the Saturn system.

Titan's lack of lightning

Emily Lakdawalla • May 19, 2011

It's a fact of life in science that not all of your hypotheses will turn out to be correct (or even verifiable at all). But there's a bias toward the publication of positive results -- the discovery of this, or the proof of that.

Are there more Titans than Earths in the Milky Way?

Emily Lakdawalla • April 14, 2011

Might there be many Titan-like planets and moons, with atmospheres and liquid methane rain, rivers, and lakes, across the galaxy? It's an important question if you think that liquid methane environments could support alien life, because it turns out that Titan-like planets might be more common than Earth-like planets.

Lots of great stuff in the latest Cassini data release

Emily Lakdawalla • April 13, 2011

I've got some lovely pictures from Saturn to show you! Every three months, the Cassini mission dumps gigabytes worth of precious Saturn data into the Planetary Data System, and the latest gift came on April 1. This particular pile of data, which was taken between April 1 and June 30, 2010, contains a lot of really terrific moon observations.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: What's up in the second quarter of 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • April 07, 2011

Regular readers of this blog will find the content of today's 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast familiar, because it's an update on what the solar system exploration spacecraft are up to, based on my monthly "what's up" updates.

Evidence for rain on Titan

Emily Lakdawalla • March 22, 2011

Last week, Zibi Turtle and Jason Perry and a dozen other coauthors published a paper in Science discussing evidence for rain on Titan.

Mercury: a moon-scale body

Emily Lakdawalla • March 17, 2011

As I wait for the MESSENGER Mercury Orbit Insertion webcast to start, I thought I'd fiddle with some images to point out that Mercury is a bridge between the scales of planets and the scales of moons.

LPSC 2011: Wanted: Pioneer 10 & 11 digital data

Emily Lakdawalla • March 11, 2011

This is both a Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) update and a public service announcement. Ted Stryk has been working for years to locate the original Pioneer 10 and 11 image data from the Jupiter and Saturn encounters.

Bye bye, Kodachrome, but "Kodak moments" will live on in space

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2010

This week is the end for Kodachrome film. It's a casualty of the digital revolution.

Door 20 in the 2010 advent calendar (special news update)

Emily Lakdawalla • December 20, 2010

Time to open the twentieth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this diffuse blob and stripy sea?

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