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Blog Archive


Found a Killer Asteroid? Who Ya Gonna Call?
Tim Spahr of the Minor Planet Center on Planetary Radio

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/07/08 04:19 CDT

Astronomer Timothy Spahr directs the Minor Planet Center, the global clearinghouse for asteroids, comets and other relatively small objects in the solar system, including moons. He also coordinates the Society's Shoemaker NEO grant program.

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Goodnight, Herschel Space Observatory

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/06/18 01:29 CDT | 6 comments

The European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory received its final commands yesterday, having depleted the liquid helium required to make its infrared observations.

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Astronomy Enters a New Era
Join us for a live webcast about thrilling new tools that will come online in the next decade.

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/05/26 08:45 CDT | 3 comments

A live conversation about just a few of the powerful new instruments that will revolutionize our knowledge of the cosmos once again.

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ALMA Adventure--Complete Interviews With Planetary Radio Guests

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/03/26 12:33 CDT | 6 comments

The extended, mostly unedited recordings of my conversations with many of the people I spoke to at the ALMA Observatory in Chile. Also, the full English translation of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera's speech.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: the Giant ALMA Observatory, and Asteroid Tracking

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/03/20 01:31 CDT

Bruce Betts, Mat Kaplan, and asteroid tracker Robert Holmes on the Planetary Society Weekly Google Hangout. Mat discussed and showed pictures from his trip to the giant ALMA observatory and we'll be joined by asteroid tracker extraordinaire, Robert Holmes.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: Being WISE about asteroids, comets, and brown dwarfs with Amy Mainzer

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/14 02:00 CDT

This week I'll be talking with NEOWISE principal investigator Amy Mainzer about moving objects that the WISE mission has spotted both inside and outside our solar system.

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Atacama Diary for March 10, 2013--Pisco Sours and Liquid Helium

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/03/10 11:10 CDT

Great dinner and great conversation with staff of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, topped by Chile's national drink.

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Atacama Diary for March 8, 2013-Noon at LAX

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/03/09 05:32 CST

Another audio blog post, with excerpts from the National Science Foundation briefing on the ALMA Observatory, edited while I was waiting for my planet to Chile at LAX.

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Atacama Diary for March 2, 2013--ALMA Explained

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/03/02 07:00 CST

The second in a series of audio blogs chronicling my trip to the driest spot on Earth, Chile's Atacama desert, to see the inauguration of the ALMA Observatory. Al Wootten and Alison Peck tell the story of ALMA.

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Atacama Diary
February 25, 2013--The Longest Journey Begins With a Single Dose

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/02/25 11:47 CST | 4 comments

The first in a series of audio blogs chronicling my trip to the driest spot on Earth, Chile's Atacama desert, to see the inauguration of the ALMA Observatory.

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A dispatch from J-school: two short videos

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/10/23 11:05 CDT

Two short videos produced by Jason Davis on astronomy and planetary science work taking place at the University of Arizona.

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First Planet Discovered in Alpha Centauri System
Information on the Discovery, and also Insights from Debra Fischer

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/10/17 07:22 CDT | 12 comments

European astronomers have made the first planetary discovery in the closest-to-Earth Alpha Centauri star system. Here is some information about the discovery, and insights from Yale Astronomer Debra Fischer, who leads another Alpha Centauri planet search partially supported by The Planetary Society.

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Saving the World: Established 1997
The Shoemaker NEO Grants at 15

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/09/21 01:00 CDT | 2 comments

The Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO grants celebrate their 15th anniversary of helping to find and track near Earth asteroids. Here's a quick review of the program, and updates on our four multiple-grant winners.

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NITARP seeks educators for NASA astronomy research

Posted by Luisa Rebull on 2012/08/27 08:00 CDT

NITARP seeks educators interested in teaming up with NASA astronomers to perform genuine astronomical research.

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Astronomy Is Cheap, Too

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/08/17 11:45 CDT | 16 comments

There was upsetting news today, as the National Science Foundation's Division of Astronomical Sciences released a report that recommended divesting from several highly successful radio telescopes. The money in question, as usual, amounts to almost nothing. The effects, however, are massive.

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Virtual Star Parties

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/06/28 12:02 CDT

Hang out with Fraser Cain and amateur astronomers all over the world in Cosmoquest's Virtual Star parties conducted over Google+. Here's how -- plus an inspiring video produced by Google to show just how cool this is.

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Yet more planet transits

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/06/14 11:00 CDT | 7 comments

A reader comment on Jay Pasachoff's post last week about Venus transits viewed from other planets had me asking whether transits of other planets were also interesting to astronomers. Jay provided some answers!

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NRO gives NASA two hand-me-down telescopes

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/06/07 08:28 CDT | 4 comments

The National Reconnaissance Office has donated two, partially-completed space telescopes to NASA, revealed at a National Academies' Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics meeting this week.

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Transit of Venus June 5: Why Should You Care and How to Observe

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/06/02 01:56 CDT | 2 comments

A rare astronomical event occurs June 5/6. Find out why you should care and how to observe it.

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Full Free Intro Astronomy Class Now Online

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/05/22 02:57 CDT | 1 comments

Bruce Betts' complete CSUDH Intro Astronomy and Planetary Science class is now available online. Find out how to access it, and go behind the scenes.

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