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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 | 7 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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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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Book reviews: On habitable environments, and the rovers that explore them

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/12/21 09:25 CST | 2 comments

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

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

Posted by John Grotzinger on 2013/12/21 08:47 CST | 4 comments

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.

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Our Improved Optical Search for ET
New hardware processes terabytes of data every second

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/10/08 11:15 CDT

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.

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Planetary Radio Live Celebrates Curiosity/Truly Haute Cuisine!
Listen to or watch the webcast recorded Saturday, December 15th, and enjoy a neat little French animation.

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/12/20 04:06 CST

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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Watch Planetary Radio LIVE on Saturday!
Saturday's webcast is all about Curiosity on Mars

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/12/15 11:10 CST | 1 comments

Watch the live show at 2pm Pacific on Saturday, December 15 to see Bill Nye, Emily Lakdawalla and the leaders of the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission.

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More than you probably wanted to know about Curiosity's SAM instrument

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/30 12:31 CST | 25 comments

With all the hoopla surrounding the unknown results of the first analysis of a soil sample by Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, I thought an explainer would be useful. What is SAM, what is it designed to measure, and what is the nature of its results? Here you go.

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VIDEOS: Nye & Teens in Space as Curiosity Lands in Hi-Def!

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/09/19 12:06 CDT | 2 comments

Losing your enthusiasm for space exploration and science? Watch these new and terrific videos for an exhilarating shot of Vitamin S.

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Thursday: Watch Bill Nye Host YouTube SpaceLab Webcast

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/09/11 04:55 CDT

The Planetary Society CEO goes to London to MC a live conversation with ISS astronaut Sunita Williams and the kids who've had their experiments conducted in orbit.

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Optical SETI Gets a Major Upgrade

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/08/30 03:57 CDT | 5 comments

The Planetary Society Optical SETI Telescope in Harvard, Massachusetts just got a major upgrade of its electronics. The telescope, which has been operating the only all-sky optical SETI survey since its opening in 2006, is run by Harvard University Professor Paul Horowitz and his team. The telescope scans the sky every clear night with a 72-inch primary mirror, looking for laser pulses as short as one billionth of a second that could be transmitted by distant extraterrestrials. When observing, it has been able to process 1 terabit (trillion bits) of data every second, that’s as much as in all the books in print every second.

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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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Earth’s toughest life could survive on Mars

Posted by Mike Malaska on 2012/05/15 06:22 CDT | 6 comments

The surface of Mars is a tough place to survive, but researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) found some lichens and cyanobacteria tough enough to handle those conditions.

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Is there life on Venus? Not in reprocessed Venera-13 images.

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/01/23 12:56 CST

At the end of last week, a rather sensational article appeared in both the Russian- and English-language sites of the Russian news agency, RIA Novosti. "Life Spotted on Venus - Russian Scientist," ran the English headline; a Google translation of the Russian one goes: "The Soviet probes may have photographed creatures on Venus."

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NOVA: Finding Life Beyond Earth airs tonight, with lots of planetary stars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/19 02:10 CDT

Programming note: tonight, public television stations will be airing a new, two-hour NOVA documentary, "Finding Life Beyond Earth."

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Origins 2011 conference, part 2

Posted by Frank Trixler on 2011/07/27 10:03 CDT

In this, my second blog on Origins 2011 in Montpellier, France, a conference dedicated to the interdisciplinary research on the origins of life, I aim to provide my impression of the second half of the conference.

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Origins 2011 conference, part 1

Posted by Frank Trixler on 2011/07/14 12:53 CDT

The Origins 2011 conference, which took place last week in Montpellier, France, was dedicated to the origins of life and its occurrence in the universe. At this meeting, scientists from very different disciplines came together to share their ideas.

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Why haven't we found evidence for life starting in asteroids?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/10 01:51 CDT

Here's a theoretical paper that asks an interesting question: When the solar system was very young and still very hot, could medium-sized asteroids have been habitable abodes for life?

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Phobos LIFE gets a ride on Endeavour as Shuttle LIFE!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/25 03:52 CDT

The Planetary Society is contributing this thing called the Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE) to Russia's Phobos sample return mission -- it's basically a sealed puck with dormant microbes inside that'll fly to Mars and back in the return capsule, and biologists will take a look to see what damage the little bugs suffered during their space journey.

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