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Emily Lakdawalla's blogs from 2009

Saturn shadows shift with the seasons

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2009

So many goodies on the Cassini raw images website lately! I am especially excited when Cassini takes photos through red, green, and blue filters so that it's possible to create views that look roughly like what you'd see with your own eyes.

Fun for Sunday: Titan and Tethys pas de deux

Emily Lakdawalla • October 18, 2009

Checking in on Cassini's raw images this weekend, there are several nice shots to play with, including the many frames from which I tossed together this cute animation.

Here comes Rosetta!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 16, 2009

Heads up! ESA's Rosetta comet-chasing mission is going to buzz by Earth again in less than a month.

Opportunity's world of dunes and rock

Emily Lakdawalla • October 16, 2009

Opportunity's been making tracks lately, with brief stops to check out a couple of meteorites. I thought this view of its surroundings on sol 2,034 (a couple of days ago) was neat.

A brief word on Saturn's radius

Emily Lakdawalla • October 15, 2009

I've had two people write in to correct my Phoebe ring post from yesterday.

Rhea, Enceladus, Mimas, and Tethys, oh my!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 15, 2009

With the last Titan flyby on October 12, Cassini came back to an orbit that's nearly in the equatorial plane, and immediately rewarded us with some fine views of several of the icy moons. Here are a bunch of images of those moons.

Netherlands fireball

Emily Lakdawalla • October 14, 2009

I was debating whether to write anything about a reported fireball that streaked across the sky in the Netherlands at roughly 19:00 local time (17:00 UTC) yesterday, October 13, but seeing this image ended my internal debate.

The Phoebe ring

Emily Lakdawalla • October 14, 2009

Last week, planetary astronomers Anne Verbiscer, Michael Skrutskie, and Doug Hamilton published a paper in Nature succinctly titled "Saturn's Largest Ring." In the paper, they announce the discovery, using the Spitzer infrared space telescope, of a gargantuan, previously unseen ring around Saturn, encompassing the orbit of Phoebe.

That psychedelic M-cubed Moon movie explained

Emily Lakdawalla • October 13, 2009

Advance warning: this entry may be a little technical for some.

AMASE 2009: Testing future Mars surface instruments in the Arctic

Emily Lakdawalla • October 13, 2009

I have just posted four more blog entries from Juan Diego Rodgriguez-Blanco detailing the work conducted during this year's Artic Mars Analogue Svalbard Expedition (AMASE).

OMG! Aurora!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 12, 2009

Unmannedspaceflight.com member Astro0 was fiddling around with an interesting-looking sequence of Cassini images when he discovered their purpose -- they were gathered in order to see if Cassini could catch aurorae flaring into being near Saturn's north pole. Cassini sure did!

Video from Palomar Observatory on LCROSS impact night

Emily Lakdawalla • October 10, 2009

The Palomar Observatory adaptive optics image of the crater Cabeus remains the best I've seen from ground-based telescopes of the LCROSS impact site.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Diviner detection of LCROSS impact

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2009

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Diviner team just released some preliminary views of their data taken during the LCROSS impact, which clearly shows the thermal signature from the crash into the Moon.

Graphics from the LCROSS press briefing

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2009

It's been a little difficult to get a hold of the graphics that they used at this morning's press briefing.

LCROSS: A "morning after" wrapup

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2009

So the big drama on LCROSS is over.

LCROSS visible spectrometer data showing impact flash

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2009

This plot just shows the aggregate radiance in ultraviolet and visible wavelengths -- all wavelengths -- seen by one of LCROSS' spectrometers after the Centaur hit the Moon.

Palomar image of crater Cabeus after LCROSS impact

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2009

Here's the sharpest optical image shown today of the Moon, from Palomar Observatory.

MMT image of the plume and its shadow?

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2009

I am pretty sure this image shows the LCROSS impact plume and its shadow as seen from the MMT observatory in Arizona, but as Alan Boyle just pointed out, the time stamps indicate the photos were all taken before the nominal impact time.

LCROSS impact recap, with animations

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2009

Quite a night! I set my alarm for 3:15 am in order to get up and watch LCROSS crash into the Moon.

Screen caps of NASA TV LCROSS camera images

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2009

I am having issues with TwitPic this morning, so will occasionally post new images from the LCROSS camera to this blog entry.

Gorgeous Kaguya image of Cabeus crater; where to watch impact

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2009

I'm back online and ready to watch LCROSS smash into the Moon this morning!

LCROSS Centaur separation and braking burn successful

Emily Lakdawalla • October 08, 2009

LCROSS and its Centaur upper stage have separated successfully, and the LCROSS shepherd spacecraft has braked in order to follow behind the Centaur when both impact the Moon tomorrow.

LROC nabs image of the Apollo 14 S-IVB impact site

Emily Lakdawalla • October 08, 2009

As a reminder that we've been crashing stuff into the Moon for decades, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team released today a photo of the crater made by the spent upper stage of the Saturn rocket that lofted the Apollo 14 mission to the Moon.

A couple of helpful visualizations of LCROSS impact

Emily Lakdawalla • October 08, 2009

The visualization studio at Goddard Space Flight Center has just posted some handy simulations of what we can expect the LCROSS impact to look like.

LCROSS impact preview

Emily Lakdawalla • October 08, 2009

Way early tomorrow morning, LCROSS and its Centaur upper stage will crash into the lunar south pole.

MESSENGER is fine

Emily Lakdawalla • October 07, 2009

The caption to today's image release from the MESSENGER team concerns their long-term campaign to study Mercury's brightness through a range of phase angles.

DPS: The amazing wound-up C ring, by Josh Colwell

Emily Lakdawalla • October 07, 2009

DPS: The amazing wound-up C ring, by Josh Colwell

App review: Moon Globe and Mars Globe: Five stars!!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 07, 2009

App review: Moon Globe and Mars Globe: Five stars!!

A podcast, a space carnival, and a New Horizons Planetary Radio Q and A

Emily Lakdawalla • October 07, 2009

A podcast, a space carnival, and a New Horizons Planetary Radio Q and A

Changes in Titan's southern lakes

Emily Lakdawalla • October 06, 2009

Today's science press release out of the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting concerns changes in lakes near Titan's south pole observed during Cassini's mission. In brief, repeat Cassini RADAR observations of the same spots during different Titan flybys turned up places where there appeared to be dark lakes in earlier images and dry lakes in later images.

The September-October 2009 issue of The Planetary Report is out

Emily Lakdawalla • October 06, 2009

The September-October 2009 issue of The Planetary Report is out

Prizes for Steve Squyres, Toby Owen, Kelly Beatty, and Sarah Stewart-Mukhopadhyay

Emily Lakdawalla • October 06, 2009

Prizes for Steve Squyres, Toby Owen, Kelly Beatty, and Sarah Stewart-Mukhopadhyay

2008 TC3: One year later (a 365 Days of Astronomy podcast)

Emily Lakdawalla • October 05, 2009

2008 TC3: One year later (a 365 Days of Astronomy podcast)

Another possible piece of evidence for a Rhea ring

Emily Lakdawalla • October 05, 2009

Another possible piece of evidence for a Rhea ring

Massive MESSENGER Mercury Mosaic

Emily Lakdawalla • October 05, 2009

Massive MESSENGER Mercury Mosaic

MESSENGER gets two planets for the price of one

Emily Lakdawalla • October 02, 2009

Here's a pretty shot of Mercury taken by MESSENGER on approach...but wait, what's that tiny little speck in the lower left corner of the photo?

It would appear that Opportunity has stumbled upon another meteorite

Emily Lakdawalla • October 02, 2009

I wonder if this came from the same original body as Block Island, or if Meridiani is the kind of slowly deflating landscape that accumulates meteorites at its surface, like the ANSMET meteorite hunting spots in Antarctica?

What's up in the solar system in October 2009

Emily Lakdawalla • October 01, 2009

What's up in the solar system in October 2009

Another lunar lander photographed: Surveyor 1!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2009

Another lunar lander photographed: Surveyor 1!

Third Time's No Charm: MESSENGER's Third Gravity Assist Successful, But "Safe Mode" Interrupts Science

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2009

Third Time's No Charm: MESSENGER's Third Gravity Assist Successful, But "Safe Mode" Interrupts Science

MESSENGER went into safe mode before closest approach

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2009

MESSENGER went into safe mode before closest approach

Opportunity on the move

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2009

Opportunity rover is driving, driving, driving. It departed the meteorite named Block Island on sol 2,004 and has routinely clocked 70 meters per driving day (with drives every other day).

A little drama during the MESSENGER Mercury flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2009

A little drama during the MESSENGER Mercury flyby

MESSENGER just passed closest approach!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2009

MESSENGER just passed closest approach!

MESSENGER's latest Mercury image

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2009

MESSENGER's latest Mercury image

Now it's Cabeus, not Cabeus A, for LCROSS

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2009

Now it's Cabeus, not Cabeus A, for LCROSS

Dawn, now with 33% more Vesta

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2009

Dawn, now with 33% more Vesta

Carnival of Space #122

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2009

Carnival of Space #122

Planetary Radio Q and A: Who sees better, Hubble or ground-based scopes with adaptive optics?

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2009

Planetary Radio Q and A: Who sees better, Hubble or ground-based scopes with adaptive optics?

Fifty-five hours from Mercury

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2009

Fifty-five hours from Mercury

My Tweets this week

Emily Lakdawalla • September 26, 2009

My Tweets this week

The "Water on the Moon" Hoopla, Part 2: The murkier part of the story

Emily Lakdawalla • September 25, 2009

How much water is there on the Moon, and is it in a form that human explorers could use? This part of the story has many more questions and many fewer definite conclusions.

The "Water on the Moon" Hoopla, Part 1: There's water on the Moon!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 25, 2009

For a couple of weeks now, I've been hearing rumors about an upcoming announcement concerning Chandrayaan-1 Moon Mineralogy Mapper ("M3") discovery of "lots of" water on the Moon.

Here comes Mercury

Emily Lakdawalla • September 25, 2009

Here comes Mercury

Planetary Society Statement on Water on the Moon

Emily Lakdawalla • September 24, 2009

Planetary Society Statement on Water on the Moon

The Moon as seen by Cassini VIMS, processed by an amateur

Emily Lakdawalla • September 24, 2009

The Moon as seen by Cassini VIMS, processed by an amateur

An ALMA antenna journeys to its pad

Emily Lakdawalla • September 24, 2009

An ALMA antenna journeys to its pad

Beautiful 3D animation of Spirit's environs in Gusev Crater

Emily Lakdawalla • September 23, 2009

Doug Ellison has done it again: he's created a spectacular overflight of Gusev crater based upon digital elevation models of the terrain produced by the United States Geological Survey from HiRISE data.

Looking forward to MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury

Emily Lakdawalla • September 23, 2009

Looking forward to MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury

MESSENGER's Final Flyby of Mercury: Old Territory, New Science

Emily Lakdawalla • September 23, 2009

MESSENGER is fast approaching the third and final Mercury flyby during its seven-year journey to the innermost planet.

Planetary Radio Q and A: Boom-boom!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 22, 2009

Planetary Radio Q and A: Boom-boom!

More Saturn equinox image goodies

Emily Lakdawalla • September 22, 2009

More Saturn equinox image goodies

Saturn equinox image goodies

Emily Lakdawalla • September 21, 2009

Saturn equinox image goodies

No more rumors: It's now fact that Phobos-Grunt will be delayed to 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • September 21, 2009

No more rumors: It's now fact that Phobos-Grunt will be delayed to 2011

Venus looks more boring than you think it does

Emily Lakdawalla • September 21, 2009

Venus looks more boring than you think it does

A piece of an asteroid returns to the telescope that discovered it

Emily Lakdawalla • September 20, 2009

A piece of an asteroid returns to the telescope that discovered it

Two weeks of Tweets

Emily Lakdawalla • September 18, 2009

Two weeks of Tweets

Some more Friday fun: How many planets?

Emily Lakdawalla • September 18, 2009

Some more Friday fun: How many planets?

Just for fun: the spacecraft bulletin board at JPL

Emily Lakdawalla • September 17, 2009

Just for fun: the spacecraft bulletin board at JPL

Some first results from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (or, I love LOLA)

Emily Lakdawalla • September 17, 2009

Some first results from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (or, I love LOLA)

How does Hubble compare?

Emily Lakdawalla • September 16, 2009

How does Hubble compare?

LCROSS: Hitting those tantalizing purple pixels

Emily Lakdawalla • September 16, 2009

LCROSS: Hitting those tantalizing purple pixels

Planetary Radio Q and A: Moonquakes

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2009

Planetary Radio Q and A: Moonquakes

Opportunity's highway, and a tour of Block Island

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2009

Just a cool image to start the morning: after a 70-meter drive yesterday, Opportunity's following not one but two sets of its own tracks.

Interpreting a crater on the Moon

Emily Lakdawalla • September 14, 2009

The images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera or LROC are absolutely stunning.

LCROSS Mission Selects Crater Cabeus A As Target for October 9 Impact

Emily Lakdawalla • September 11, 2009

LCROSS Mission Selects Crater Cabeus A As Target for October 9 Impact

A rare view of Iapetus

Emily Lakdawalla • September 11, 2009

A rare view of Iapetus

Two new blogs to follow: 3D planets and image treasures

Emily Lakdawalla • September 10, 2009

Two new blogs to follow: 3D planets and image treasures

New Hubble images: News story with lots of pics now posted

Emily Lakdawalla • September 09, 2009

New Hubble images: News story with lots of pics now posted

New Hubble images!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 09, 2009

New Hubble images!

Planetary Radio Q and A: How do you know which way a star rotates?

Emily Lakdawalla • September 08, 2009

Planetary Radio Q and A: How do you know which way a star rotates?

Carnival of Space #119 is here at The Planetary Society Blog

Emily Lakdawalla • September 07, 2009

Carnival of Space #119 is here at The Planetary Society Blog

A week of Tweets

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2009

A week of Tweets

Continuing the Search for Mars Polar Lander

Emily Lakdawalla • September 04, 2009

Continuing the Search for Mars Polar Lander

Happy Saturn ring plane crossing day!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 04, 2009

Happy Saturn ring plane crossing day!

Apollo 12 and Surveyor 3!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 03, 2009

Apollo 12 and Surveyor 3!

New HiRISE image of Spirit at Home Plate

Emily Lakdawalla • September 03, 2009

There's a lovely new color HiRISE image of Spirit at Home Plate. It was captured on July 16 (sol 1,968), and Spirit is firmly entrenched at Troy, on the western side of Home Plate.

Dust storm update: Skies clearing for Spirit

Emily Lakdawalla • September 02, 2009

For a while, Mars was beating Spirit while she was down, throwing a dust storm at the rover where it's bogged up to its hubcaps in fluffy soil When lots of dust is lofted into the sky, the hazard is that when it comes down, it may come down on the rover and its solar panels. But it appears things on Spirit are still pretty clean.

Station fire update: Mount Wilson safe, ready for "another hundred years" of science

Emily Lakdawalla • September 02, 2009

Station fire update: Mount Wilson safe, ready for "another hundred years" of science

Cassini goodies: Telesto, Janus, Prometheus, Pandora, F ring

Emily Lakdawalla • September 01, 2009

Cassini goodies: Telesto, Janus, Prometheus, Pandora, F ring

Planetary Radio Q and A: How do you make a mark on a planet made of gas?

Emily Lakdawalla • September 01, 2009

Planetary Radio Q and A: How do you make a mark on a planet made of gas?

What's up in the solar system in September 2009: MESSENGER's 3rd Mercury flyby coming up!

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2009

What's up in the solar system in September 2009: MESSENGER's 3rd Mercury flyby coming up!

Carnival of Space #118

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2009

Carnival of Space #118

Station Fire update: Mount Wilson Observatory still there, but still under threat

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2009

Station Fire update: Mount Wilson Observatory still there, but still under threat

The Station Fire is near JPL and even closer to Mt. Wilson

Emily Lakdawalla • August 29, 2009

The Station Fire is near JPL and even closer to Mt. Wilson

Chandrayaan-1 lost

Emily Lakdawalla • August 29, 2009

Chandrayaan-1 lost

My Tweets this week

Emily Lakdawalla • August 28, 2009

My Tweets this week

"WISE Guys"

Emily Lakdawalla • August 27, 2009

"WISE Guys"

Updates from the Arctic Mars Analogue Svalbard Expedition (AMASE)

Emily Lakdawalla • August 26, 2009

Updates from the Arctic Mars Analogue Svalbard Expedition (AMASE)

Happy 3rd anniversary of the Spirit landing!

Emily Lakdawalla • August 26, 2009

"Third anniversary?" some of you may be asking. "Hasn't it been more like five years since Spirit landed?" Five Earth years, yes. But today is the third anniversary of the landing, measured in Mars years.

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