Emily Lakdawalla's blogs from 2009
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/19 03:39 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/15 03:23 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/14 05:58 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/14 04:06 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/13 01:56 CDT
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).
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/12 10:43 CDT
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!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/10 04:47 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/09 05:08 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/09 10:57 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/09 10:43 CDT
Here's the sharpest optical image shown today of the Moon, from Palomar Observatory.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/09 10:02 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/09 06:16 CDT
I'm back online and ready to watch LCROSS smash into the Moon this morning!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/08 10:55 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/08 06:33 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/08 05:25 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/07 02:23 CDT
App review: Moon Globe and Mars Globe: Five stars!!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/07 01:54 CDT
A podcast, a space carnival, and a New Horizons Planetary Radio Q and A
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/06 05:19 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/06 02:48 CDT
The September-October 2009 issue of The Planetary Report is out
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/06 12:50 CDT
Prizes for Steve Squyres, Toby Owen, Kelly Beatty, and Sarah Stewart-Mukhopadhyay
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/05 05:53 CDT
2008 TC3: One year later (a 365 Days of Astronomy podcast)
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/05 02:30 CDT
Another possible piece of evidence for a Rhea ring
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/02 12:58 CDT
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?
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/30 02:05 CDT
Third Time's No Charm: MESSENGER's Third Gravity Assist Successful, But "Safe Mode" Interrupts Science
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/30 10:14 CDT
MESSENGER went into safe mode before closest approach
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/28 12:07 CDT
Planetary Radio Q and A: Who sees better, Hubble or ground-based scopes with adaptive optics?
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/25 05:02 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/25 02:32 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/24 01:17 CDT
The Moon as seen by Cassini VIMS, processed by an amateur
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/23 08:14 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/23 05:30 CDT
Looking forward to MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/23 09:00 CDT
MESSENGER is fast approaching the third and final Mercury flyby during its seven-year journey to the innermost planet.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/21 01:00 CDT
No more rumors: It's now fact that Phobos-Grunt will be delayed to 2011
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/20 11:50 CDT
A piece of an asteroid returns to the telescope that discovered it
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/17 05:53 CDT
Just for fun: the spacecraft bulletin board at JPL
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/17 02:09 CDT
Some first results from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (or, I love LOLA)
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/11 03:26 CDT
LCROSS Mission Selects Crater Cabeus A As Target for October 9 Impact
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/10 04:12 CDT
Two new blogs to follow: 3D planets and image treasures
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/09 08:07 CDT
New Hubble images: News story with lots of pics now posted
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/08 02:54 CDT
Planetary Radio Q and A: How do you know which way a star rotates?
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/07 12:40 CDT
Carnival of Space #119 is here at The Planetary Society Blog
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/02 12:25 CDT
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/02 11:55 CDT
Station fire update: Mount Wilson safe, ready for "another hundred years" of science
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/01 12:40 CDT
Cassini goodies: Telesto, Janus, Prometheus, Pandora, F ring
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/01 11:00 CDT
Planetary Radio Q and A: How do you make a mark on a planet made of gas?
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/31 04:53 CDT
What's up in the solar system in September 2009: MESSENGER's 3rd Mercury flyby coming up!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/31 11:59 CDT
Station Fire update: Mount Wilson Observatory still there, but still under threat
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/29 08:34 CDT
The Station Fire is near JPL and even closer to Mt. Wilson
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/26 05:45 CDT
Updates from the Arctic Mars Analogue Svalbard Expedition (AMASE)
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/26 02:03 CDT
"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.
Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.
Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.