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Successful launch for China's Tiangong-2 space station

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2016

Today, China launched its second modular space station, Tiangong 2.

One year remains in the Cassini mission

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2016 • 6

Cassini ends a year from today, which is sad. But the final year of the mission is going to be awesome.

Gaia's first galaxy map

Emily Lakdawalla • September 14, 2016 • 3

The astronomy world is abuzz today because of ESA's announcement of the first release of data from the Gaia mission. Gaia is a five-year mission that will eventually measure the positions and motions of billions of stars; this first data release includes positions for 1.1 billion of them, and proper motions for 2 million.

A deep dive into the highest-resolution Voyager Jupiter data

Björn Jónsson • September 14, 2016

A few weeks before the first Juno high resolution imaging, I decided to take a look at Voyager color images at various resolutions, with particular attention to high-resolution mosaics.

Cassini's camera views of Titan's polar lakes in summer, processed into pseudocolor

Emily Lakdawalla • September 12, 2016 • 1

Titan's north polar lakes are well-lit by summer sun in these recent Cassini images. Image processing enthusiast Ian Regan shares his recipe for processing the longer-wavelength Titan images into visually pleasing "pseudocolor."

Rosetta end-of-mission update

Emily Lakdawalla • September 09, 2016 • 5

The European Space Agency has shared plans for the end of the Rosetta mission scheduled for September 30, just three weeks from now. The landing site will be located on the "head" of the comet, next to a prominent pit now named Deir el-Medina.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4482 - September 2, 2016

Larry Crumpler • September 09, 2016 • 1

Opportunity is about to leave Marathon Valley for good and head south into the next valley, marking the beginning of the current extended mission plan.

OSIRIS-REx blazes into evening sky, starting journey to asteroid Bennu

Jason Davis • September 08, 2016 • 5

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is safely en route to asteroid Bennu following an evening liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Carrying names of 440,000 well-wishers, OSIRIS-REx ready for journey to Bennu and back

Jason Davis • September 07, 2016 • 7

OSIRIS-REx is ready to begin its journey to Bennu and back. The asteroid was named by a Planetary Society contest winner, and the spacecraft bears the names of 440,000 well-wishers.

Philae spotted on the surface of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2016 • 1

Ever since its landing, Philae has been elusive. It went silent just three days later and never returned any more science data, though it made brief contact with the orbiter last summer. Now, just a month until the planned end of the Rosetta mission, the orbiter has finally located the lander in a stunning high-resolution view of the surface.

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