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Blog Archive


Bruce Betts' Free Online Intro To Astronomy Course

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/01/31 08:35 CST

Bruce Betts will be returning to the virtual classroom at California State University, Dominguez Hills for an Intro To Astronomy course. The first lecture will be Wednesday, February 8, from 3:00 to 4:30pm Pacific Time.

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Off to France! DPS-EPSC 2011 (a big planetary meeting)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/30 11:40 CDT

I'm leaving shortly for Nantes, France to attend the 2011 joint meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society and the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC). You may be saying, wait, why is the American Astronomical Society having a meeting in France?

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Readers: Help me identify "greatest hit" blog entries?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/26 12:03 CDT

If you are reading this and happen to recall an entry that struck you as particularly educational or having a particularly beautiful picture or whatever, I'd very much appreciate it if you could note that in the comments (or by email or Twitter, if you prefer).

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Students Design Human Asteroid Mission in Caltech Space Challenge

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2011/09/19 11:55 CDT

I spent much of the past week attending the Caltech Space Challenge, a student-organized international competition to design a human mission to a Near-Earth asteroid. It was a great week, and one of the most positive, upbeat and hopeful programs I have participated in concerning the future of space exploration.

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Guest Post: Ray Sanders: What's Up in the Night Sky This Fall?

Posted by Ray Sanders on 2011/09/13 04:14 CDT

The summer heat is starting to cool off and the swarms of mosquitoes are nearly survivable without heavy artillery. For some backyard astronomers, fall offers cool nights and comfortable weather to enjoy the stars by.

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Here we go again: GRAIL set to launch today

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/10 07:02 CDT

GRAIL is trying for launch today at 8:29 PDT / 12:29 UT or 9:08 PDT / 6:08 UT., and here I am at 5:00 am my time ready to watch. As before, I'm watching the feed through Spaceflight Now's GRAIL mission status center.

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GRAIL update: Next launch attempt planned for Saturday

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/08 10:57 CDT

Just a brief update: SpaceflightNow reports no attempt will be made to launch GRAIL tomorrow. The next launch opportunity is Saturday.

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How to watch the GRAIL launch on Thursday

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/06 01:23 CDT

The twin spacecraft of the GRAIL lunar gravity mission are set to launch side-by-side on a Delta II rocket on Thursday, September 8. Here's all the places where you can find information about the upcoming launch.

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Fun for the whole family: Watch an enormous rocket blast a spacecraft to Jupiter!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/04 01:19 CDT

Do you have kids at home for the summer? Treat them to a spectacular fireworks show by tuning in tomorrow morning to watch Juno blast off to Jupiter!

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URGENT: Call Appropriations Committee members to support Pu-238 production

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/06/14 02:21 CDT

I just got the following email from the American Geophysical Union (AGU), requesting anyone whose Congressperson sits on the Appropriations Committee to place a phone call to support the production of Plutonium-238, the isotope of plutonium that powers spacecraft that cannot run on solar power.

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We did it -- Shuttle LIFE launches!

Posted by Bill Nye on 2011/05/16 09:39 CDT

Today at 8:56 a.m. EDT, Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on its final mission, and we are part of this historic moment!

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Happy Earth Day!

Posted by Bill Nye on 2011/04/22 02:30 CDT | 1 comments

The Earth is important, and sometimes we need a reminder as to just how fragile it is.

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Please join us to send off Lou Friedman in style!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/15 04:25 CDT

We're going to celebrate Lou Friedman's 30 years of service to the Planetary Society by mercilessly making fun of him at a gala "Roast and Toast" event in downtown Los Angeles on April 30. (We will probably say some very nice things about him too.)

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The Future of Women in Chemistry and Science

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2011/02/28 04:10 CST

Are you concerned about the future of women in science? Well, you should be, since the women working in science today and tomorrow will help shape the world you live in.

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Stardust Contest: "Are We There Yet?"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/01 09:44 CST

There's a new Planetary Society contest: "Are We There Yet? -- Measuring Stardust's Cosmic Journey." How far do you think Stardust will have traveled to get to Tempel 1? Guess here and get a chance to win a cool T-shirt!

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Lunar eclipse tonight, mid-eclipse at 08:17 Dec 21 UT

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/20 10:55 CST

Unless you live under a rock you probably know that there is a total lunar eclipse tonight, one that should be particularly favorable for viewing from North America but which will be at least partially visible to viewers in South America, Europe, and easternmost Asia and Australia too.

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Talk at AGU today: "Snapshots from Space"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/13 04:11 CST

I had planned to be in San Francisco today to present at the 2010 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in an Education and Public Affairs session.

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I'll be presenting at the American Geophysical Union Meeting next week

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/10 04:10 CST

I'm going to just one day of the enormous annual American Geophysical Union meeting next week, and I am actually presenting a talk!

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Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/18 05:31 CST

The saddest item of business to note in this linky post is that noted astronomer Brian Marsden, retired director of the Minor Planet Center and a good friend to many, passed away yesterday at the age of 73.

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Discovery Launch Scrubbed, Again

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2010/11/05 02:54 CDT

The launch has been scrubbed once again due to a critical hydrogen leak detected once fueling had been underway for a while.

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