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Blog Archive

 

Our asteroid hunters are trying to save the world. Here’s what they’ve been up to

Jason Davis • April 17, 2017

Here are some recent reports from our NEO Shoemaker Grant program asteroid observers, who are quite literally trying to save the world.

Citizen scientist spots changes on Rosetta's comet

Marco Parigi • February 27, 2017

Citizen scientist and self-described "comet whisperer" Marco Parisi explains how he made a striking discovery on Comet 67P using Rosetta mission data.

DPS 2015: First reconnaissance of Ceres by Dawn

Emily Lakdawalla • November 12, 2015

This is the first major meeting since Dawn's arrival at Ceres, and despite competition with Pluto surface science there was a well-attended Ceres talk session on Monday and poster session on Tuesday.

ESA's cool new interactive comet visualization tool based on amateur imaging work with open data

Emily Lakdawalla • August 13, 2015

A terrific new visualization tool for comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko demonstrates the value of sharing mission image data with the public. The browser-based tool lets you spin a simulated 3D view of the comet. It began with a 3D model of the comet created not by ESA, but by a space enthusiast, Mattias Malmer.

We Love A Crowd!

Richard Chute • May 14, 2015

This month, at the same time that The Planetary Society is launching the long-anticipated LightSail prototype for a shakedown cruise, we are excited to launch another “first”—our first-ever Kickstarter campaign.

Mars Academy

Paul Hayne • March 21, 2015

A new project—"Mars Academy"—aims to expand the cosmic horizon and offer a broader sense of opportunity for at least one group of underprivileged children in an impoverished neighborhood in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Hunting Binary Asteroids

Bruce Betts • November 07, 2014

Thanks to The Planetary Society’s Shoemaker NEO Grant program, a new telescope has been brought to bear focusing on searching for and understanding the properties of binary asteroid systems.

Stardust@home Finds Some Stardust

Amir Alexander • August 21, 2014

What’s new at Stardust@home, the groundbreaking program that asked volunteers to help find interstellar dust particles collected by the spacecraft Stardust.

Interstellar Dust Grains Found by Stardust@home

Bruce Betts • August 15, 2014

Seven possible interstellar dust grains have been found by Stardust@home, a citizen scientist project that The Planetary Society helped out early on. The dust grains would be the first ever examples of contemporary interstellar dust.

One Night Only, a New Meteor Shower that May Be Spectacular?

Bruce Betts • May 22, 2014

A new meteor shower, the Camelopardalids, will be peaking Friday night/Saturday morning (May 23/24). Especially if you are in North America, you are well positioned to see what may (or may not) be a spectacular show. In either case, scientists will learn about a comet’s history, and you can have a fun night looking at the sky.

Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 11: Exoplanets and Solar System Origin and Formation

Bruce Betts • April 25, 2014

Learn about the formation and origin of the Solar System and go beyond our neighborhood to investigate exoplanets (planets around other stars) in this video of class 11 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Intro Astronomy Class 9: Titan, Uranus and Neptune Systems

Bruce Betts • April 11, 2014

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.

My Own Corner of Mars

Bill Dunford • April 07, 2014

How I took a high-res photo of an intriguing spot on the Red Planet--and how you can, too.

Returning Explorers

Achim Vollhardt • March 28, 2014

ICE has been on a journey for over 30 years around our sun. While the owner has decided not to bring the ship back to its home port, a group of radio amateurs tries to find out how ICE is doing.

Detecting Spacetime Distortions

Katherine Mack • March 25, 2014

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

Eyes and stopwatch are all that are needed to help measure an invisible asteroid

Ted Blank • March 03, 2014

Would you like to be part of one of the largest citizen-science efforts in the history of astronomy? The International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) invites you to join in the campaign to observe and time the best and brightest asteroid occultation ever predicted to occur over a populated area – and no telescope is required!

Pounding the Pavement in Congress, Together

Casey Dreier • March 01, 2014

A coalition of grassroots pro-space advocates descended on Washington, D.C. this week, and held over 100 meetings with representatives and staff throughout Congress to argue for increased investment in NASA.

Naming asteroids in honor of Nelson Mandela

Emily Lakdawalla • February 04, 2014

In which I ask the Internet to tell me about people who deserve to have an asteroid named for them because of their work to promote racial equality, human rights, and social justice.

Conspiracy Theorist Sues NASA, Wastes Everybody's Time

Casey Dreier • January 31, 2014

The "jelly doughnut" rock found next to Opportunity is the focus of a new lawsuit alleging that NASA is not properly looking for life.

Planetary Radio: NEOWISE PI Amy Mainzer

Mat Kaplan • January 01, 2014

NEOWISE has reawakened to discover many more asteroids and comets. The mission leader thanks the amateur astronomers who follow up on these discoveries.

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