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Blog Archive

 

Reminder: The Giant Magellan Telescope is going to be awesome

Jason Davis • November 10, 2017

The GMT will characterize Earth-size exoplanets' atmospheres, looking for compounds that indicate the presence of life.

Doing SETI Better by Understanding Ourselves

Jason Wright • October 06, 2017

One of the reasons SETI is hard is that we don’t know exactly what we are looking for, and part of that difficulty is that we still aren’t sure of who we are. An astronomer and an anthropologist team up to explore how cultural myopia shape what we can find in the cosmos.

Fossils or good-looking rocks? Why searching for life on other worlds is hard

Elias Nakouzi • April 13, 2017

If you find a structure that looks like ancient life, can you be really sure that it is ancient life?

Microbes exist deep inside Earth’s craters. Could this be the secret to finding life on other worlds?

Bryan J. Rodriguez-Colon • February 06, 2017

Earth possesses amazing biological diversity. Every corner of this planet—no matter how bizarre the place—is inhabited by microorganisms. This includes impact craters.

IceBreaker: The Search for Life on Mars

Van Kane • September 08, 2015

The IceBreaker mission, proposed to NASA's Discovery program for low-cost missions, would seek out life on the northern plains of Mars.

OSIRIS-REx – Seeking Answers to the Sweet Mystery of Life

Jason Dworkin • May 07, 2015

The nature of the origin of life is a topic that has engaged people since ancient times. The samples to be collected by OSIRIS-REx, returned to the Earth in 2023 and archived for decades beyond that, may indeed hide the secrets to the origin of life.

New Horizons One Earth Message

Mark Washburn • April 24, 2015

The One Earth Message Project is going to send a message to the stars, and we invite members of the Planetary Society to join us in this historic endeavor.

Planet Formation and the Origin of Life

Dante Lauretta • February 09, 2015

To understand the possible distribution of life in the Universe it is important to study planet formation and evolution. These processes are recorded in the chemistry and mineralogy of asteroids and comets, and in the geology of ancient planetary surfaces in our Solar System.

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

Bruce Betts • February 04, 2015

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

Undeniable Commitment to Education, Empowerment & Understanding the Cosmos

Erin Greeson • November 04, 2014

Today, The Planetary Society celebrates our CEO Bill Nye’s latest science education feat: the release of his book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation. Erin Greeson, The Planetary Society's director of communications, tells us about it.

Back on the Rails with OSETI

Bruce Betts • August 28, 2014

The Planetary Society sponsored all-sky optical SETI search at Harvard University went off the rails, telescope roof rails that is, but it is back on track and hunting the sky for ET.

Mars 2020 Instruments – A Plan for Sample Return

Van Kane • August 08, 2014

Van Kane gives us a tour of the instruments selected for the Mars 2020 rover.

The Habitable Zone of Inhabited Planets

Jaime Green • July 07, 2014

A team of Colombian researchers are arguing for a new refinement to the idea of the habitable zone that takes the presence of life itself into account.

NASA selects Planetary Society LIFE Proposal

Bruce Betts • June 19, 2014

NASA has selected a Planetary Society proposal to study accommodation of the Society’s LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment) biomodule on NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM).

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

Bruce Betts • February 05, 2014

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

Do you want to learn more about the Universe?

Matthew Francis • January 15, 2014

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.

Book reviews: On habitable environments, and the rovers that explore them

Emily Lakdawalla • December 21, 2013

I've got some books to recommend on astrobiology, planet Earth and its living creatures, impact cratering, and Mars rovers.

Habitability, Taphonomy, and Curiosity's Hunt for Organic Carbon

John Grotzinger • December 21, 2013

Lots of people ask questions about how the Curiosity mission, and future missions, will forge ahead to begin with looking for evidence of past life on Mars. There is nothing simple or straightforward about looking for life.

Our Improved Optical Search for ET

Bruce Betts • October 08, 2013

The Planetary Society Optical SETI (OSETI) Telescope was successfully upgraded and fully tested, and is now fully operational looking for aliens. Here are some updates on the performance and progress. In summary, the upgraded telescope is performing just as hoped and is scanning the skies.

Planetary Radio Live Celebrates Curiosity/Truly Haute Cuisine!

Mat Kaplan • December 20, 2012

Listen to or watch the webcast recorded Saturday, December 15th with MSL Project Manager Richard Cook and Project Scientist John Grotzinger. Bonus: enjoy a neat little French animation.

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