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Blog Archive


Intro Astronomy Class 9: Titan, Uranus and Neptune Systems

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/04/11 02:31 CDT

Examine Saturn's moon Titan and explore the Uranian and Neptunian systems in this video of class 9 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

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Opposition time for Mars, and several months of dancing with the stars

Posted by ESA Mars Express Team on 2014/04/08 08:47 CDT | 1 comments

The Mars Express team showcases some of the best viewing opportunities of Mars in 2014, including how to spot Comet Siding Spring when it flies past Mars this October.

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Detecting Spacetime Distortions

Posted by Katherine Mack on 2014/03/25 08:17 CDT | 4 comments

Katie Mack explains why the BICEP2 detection of primordial gravitational waves has left astrophysicists at a loss for words.

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Shivering in Paradise: An Alaskan Aurora Adventure

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2014/03/14 06:14 CDT | 1 comments

Mat Kaplan checks an item off his bucket list: Seeing the aurora in Alaska.

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Take My Free Online College Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy CSUDH Class

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/02/05 05:02 CST | 9 comments

Our own Dr. Bruce Betts is once again teaching his Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy college course online. Come join him.

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Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 12: Encyclopedia Galactica
In which we ponder the existence of others

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/02/05 04:55 CST | 8 comments

Cosmos returns in fine form in its penultimate episode. Sagan explores the historical and scientific precedents for the search for extraterrestrial life (SETI) and our human desires to not be alone in the universe.

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Super-close supernova in M82

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/01/22 11:31 CST | 8 comments

The astronomy world is all a-twitter this morning over the discovery of a new supernova in M82, a galaxy that's in our astronomical backyard, "only" 12 million light-years away. And early word is that it appears to be a Type Ia supernova, the kind that's used as a standard candle to measure the expansion of the universe.

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Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 10: The Edge of Forever
In which we contemplate the end of all things

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/01/21 06:55 CST | 11 comments

Carl Sagan takes us from the birth to the death of the universe. How do we reconcile our place within a universe that will die? Join us for the latest discussion on episode 10 of Cosmos.

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[Updated] Let's Blitz Congress!
Space Exploration Legislative Blitz, Feb 23rd - 25th

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/01/17 04:08 CST | 7 comments

The Space Exploration Alliance is descending on the halls of Congress to advocate for space exploration. Join me and others on Feb 23rd - 25th in Washington, D.C. and speak up for space.

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Do you want to learn more about the Universe?

Posted by Matthew Francis on 2014/01/15 12:08 CST

CosmoAcademy — a project from the CosmoQuest educational and citizen-science group — is offering three new online classes: Introduction to Dark Matter, Introduction to Astronomy via Color Imaging, and Life Beyond Earth: Introduction to Astrobiology.

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Shaping the Search for Life

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/01/14 09:24 CST | 1 comments

A short film on the Giant Magellan Telescope, which could revolutionize exoplanet research and shape the search for life in the Universe.

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Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 9: The Lives of the Stars
In which we are star stuff

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/12/24 03:11 CST | 3 comments

This episode highlights the other big idea in Cosmos: that we are profoundly connected with the universe around us. Our constituent parts are forged in the bellies of massive stars; we exist through their deaths.

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Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 7: The Backbone of Night
In which we return to cosmos

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/12/03 02:55 CST | 3 comments

We return to the big idea of the series – that the universe can be known and we better ourselves in our efforts to understand it – in the best episode of Cosmos so far.

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Europe Bypasses Solar System for Upcoming Science Missions

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/11/06 08:44 CST | 3 comments

The European Space Agency has selected two astrophysics observatories as its next large science missions, overlooking every proposed planetary mission. ESA's current selection of planetary missions, however, means it will still be a major player in solar system exploration for the next two decades.

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America's Pastime: Planetary Science
Planetary Radio brings the home team to playoff week

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/10/15 12:16 CDT

Apologies to baseball fans and others for the theme of this week's Planetary Radio preview, which has star player Emily Lakdawalla on deck.

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Alpha Centauri Planet Hunt Update

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/10/15 11:27 CDT | 2 comments

An update from Yale’s Debra Fischer about the Alpha Centauri planet hunt, partially sponsored by The Planetary Society, as well as her team’s efforts to remove “noise” from parent stars to help find exoplanets.

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Book review: Europe to the Stars, by Govert Schilling and Lars Lindberg Christensen

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/08/16 11:05 CDT

The world's great telescopes capture stunning photographs of stars, nebulae, and other sky phenomena. In Europe to the Stars, authors Govert Schilling and Lars Lindberg Christensen share many such photos. But the real stars of this book are the great telescopes of the European Southern Observatory.

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Pretty Picture: A Plethora of Perseids

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/08/14 12:53 CDT | 3 comments

A pretty picture of the Perseid meteor shower from Mount Lemmon, Ariz.

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The coolest video of an expanding supernova you'll see today

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/08/09 09:32 CDT | 11 comments

Professional astrophotographer Adam Block created a video showing the expansion of M1, the Crab Nebula, using two images taken more than a decade apart.

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Upgraded Alpha Centauri Planet Search Underway

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/07/26 04:32 CDT | 1 comments

The Planetary Society sponsored Alpha Centauri planet search started using a newly upgraded system in May. Here is a quick update including info from project leader Debra Fischer from Yale about their new system.

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