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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!

Prometheus, Pandora, and the braided F ring in motion

Emily Lakdawalla • March 23, 2015

Cassini recently took a long, high-resolution movie of the F ring, catching a view of its ringlets, clumps, and streamers, and two potato-shaped moons, Prometheus and Pandora.

Cassini begins a year of icy moon encounters with a flyby of Rhea

Emily Lakdawalla • February 12, 2015 • 5

At last! Cassini is orbiting in Saturn's ring plane again. I do enjoy the dramatic photographs of Saturn's open ring system that Cassini can get from an inclined orbit, and we won't be getting those again for another year. But with an orbit close to the ring plane, Cassini can repeatedly encounter Saturn's icy moons, and icy moon flybys are my favorite thing about the Cassini mission.

Planetary exploration in 2015: The Year of the Dwarf Planet

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2014 • 8

Looking ahead to what we can expect from Earth's exploration of the rest of the solar system in 2015, there's an obvious theme: Dwarf planets.

Cassini's awesomeness fully funded through mission's dramatic end in 2017

Emily Lakdawalla • September 03, 2014 • 9

Last year, rumors swirled that NASA may be so pinched for dollars that the agency might end the Cassini mission early. Today, Cassini received the welcome news that it has formally been funded through the planned end of its extended-extended mission in 2017. A huge congratulations to the Cassini mission!

On the masses and motions of mini-moons: Pandora's not a "shepherd," but Prometheus still is

Emily Lakdawalla • July 04, 2014 • 4

As Cassini celebrates 10 years at Saturn, we're beginning to see its long-term observations of Saturnian moons bear fruit. A surprising new result: While Prometheus exerts control over the F ring and Atlas, Pandora -- long thought to be a shepherd of the F ring -- does not.

A close look at Saturn's closest moons

Emily Lakdawalla • June 26, 2014 • 1

A new composite image of the eight named moons that orbit closest to Saturn, and a list of all the best Cassini observations of these moons.

Help name the last phase of the Cassini mission!

Emily Lakdawalla • April 10, 2014 • 13

The scientists on the Cassini team are incredibly excited about the final, "proximal orbit" phase of the mission. But they want a punchier name for it, and they're asking the public for help.

LPSC 2014: Titan's Land of Lakes

Emily Lakdawalla • March 31, 2014 • 2

Report from a varied session on Titan's lakes at this year's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Snapshots of Science from the 2014 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Emily Lakdawalla • March 25, 2014 • 2

Vignettes from dozens of LPSC talks: GRAIL and LADEE at the Moon; ice and craters and conglomerates and organics and gullies on Mars; polar deposits and volatile elements on Mercury; tectonics on Enceladus; and more, until my brain was so full I could barely speak.

Titan's lakes: The basics

Emily Lakdawalla • March 15, 2014 • 7

Since Seth MacFarlane tweeted that this weekend's episode of Cosmos was going to include a segment on lakes on Titan, I thought I'd write a post explaining the basics of Titan lakes.

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