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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!

JAXA announcement: Itokawa sample return successful!

Emily Lakdawalla • November 15, 2010

It's official: in a press release today, JAXA announced that some 1,500 dust grains scraped from the interior of Hayabusa's clean-looking sample return capsule are not of terrestrial origin so must be from Itokawa.

Five amazing engineering camera videos from Chang'E 2

Emily Lakdawalla • November 14, 2010

I couldn't believe these videos when I first saw them: five views from engineering cameras of important events in the Chang'E 2 spacecraft's journey to the Moon.

The Disturbance is Starting

Emily Lakdawalla • November 11, 2010

Jupiter's faded belt may be coming back.

DPS 2010: Centaurs and Trans-Neptunian objects

Emily Lakdawalla • November 11, 2010

I attended all day Tuesday of the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting on October 5. The afternoon session on Tuesday was a grab bag about different small objects in the outermost solar system.

Opportunity bags a few craters

Emily Lakdawalla • November 10, 2010

In the last few days, Opportunity's passed by several craters, and the rover drivers took advantage of the chance encounters for what they call "drive-by shooting" (a phrase I can't say I'm particularly fond of, but they didn't ask me).

WISE's first brown (green?) dwarf

Emily Lakdawalla • November 09, 2010

Look at the center of this star-studded image and you'll find an emerald green dot.

An awesome animation of Jupiter's clouds

Emily Lakdawalla • November 09, 2010

Ready to see something beautiful? Here's a team effort by Björn Jónsson and Ian Regan to create a really mesmerizing view of the motions of Jupiter's clouds.

In which I finally write up last week's Deep Impact Hartley 2 press briefing

Emily Lakdawalla • November 09, 2010

On Thursday, November 4, at 13:50 UTC, Deep Impact flew within 700 kilometers of comet Hartley 2. Hartley 2 is the smallest and most active of the five comets that have been directly by a spacecraft, and the first to be visited within the lifetime of its discoverer.

Eris might be smaller than Pluto after all (but it's still more massive)

Emily Lakdawalla • November 08, 2010

Several astronomers pointed their telescope at Eris to watch it pass in front of a background star. Occultations permit precise measurement of the diameters of distant, faint objects, and it turned out that Eris was much smaller than previously thought, so much so that its diameter may turn out to be the same as, or even smaller than, Pluto's.

Fly over Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • November 08, 2010

Adrian Lark has posted several new flights over gorgeous Martian landscapes to his Youtube channel. My favorite of his recent ones is this dive into Zumba crater.

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