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Emily LakdawallaAugust 16, 2011

In their own words

While doing my daily reading today I was struck by the awesomeness of two recent blog posts. Both were composed not by professional bloggers like me but by professional space explorers, one a scientist and the other an engineer.

The scientist is Mike "Plutokiller" Brown, who has revived his blog after going on sabbatical with stories about observing 2007 OR10, the biggest as-yet-unnamed Kuiper belt object. Mike informally named it "Snow White," a name that turned out to be totally inappropriate. One thing I like about many of Mike's stories, and this one is a good example, is how unashamed he is to talk about being wrong. Not only does he admit he's been wrong, but he enjoys talking about the myriad ways that scientists in general (with him being the exemplary case) can be wrong.

The engineer is Matt Lenda, who recently started up a new blog called "On the Outside, Looking In." Saturday's post, titled "I didn't know her, but she seemed pretty cool," is a Spirit obituary written by somebody who never knew Spirit, but can only observe how the longtime Mars Exploration Rover team members dealt with the end of that mission.

And a couple of bonus links -- this is not a blog entry, but rather a web page, with 350 pictures of every active female planetary scientist that Susan Niebur could think of. Scanning through the pictures I felt a variety of emotions -- pleasure at seeing so many women, surprise that it's only 350, happiness at seeing so many friends. And I saw only one lab coat, and lots and lots of photos from gorgeous field sites. Ask your kids what they think scientists look like, then show them this page! It might surprise them.

And then there's this photo blog, whose name might not be appropriate for my youngest readers, but whose spirit I fully support.

Read more: about science writing, Spirit, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars, miscellaneous trans-Neptunian objects

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Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

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