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Blog Archive


How I Gave My Preschool Class Mars Fever

Posted by Emily Cotman on 2013/10/18 11:58 CDT | 8 comments

It all started when we read a book called, There's Nothing to Do on Mars, by Chris Gall. And then something wonderful happened.

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Planetary evangelism

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/06 02:51 CDT | 6 comments

It's so exciting when the small talk that lubricates social interactions with strangers turns into an excited discussion of space and science.

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I cannot volunteer my time to work on NASA business during the furlough

Posted by Les Johnson on 2013/10/03 11:55 CDT | 9 comments

Today I received my furlough notice from NASA. Since my job isn’t considered “excepted,” in other words, since no one will be injured or die if I don’t report for work, then I am to remain at home until recalled to work after the Congress passes and the President signs some sort of budget or continuing resolution to keep the government running.

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Women scientists: Tell Your Story and Inspire Others in Astronomy

Posted by Hadiza Mohammed on 2013/10/01 04:06 CDT | 2 comments

Women Rock Science is working with the Knowledge Observatory to create an interactive display of women in astronomy from all over the world for an upcoming science festival.

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Our Debt to NASA - Fighting the Pernicious Myth of NASA as Unnecessary

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/09/10 04:08 CDT | 10 comments

A recent article in the NY Times Sunday Magazine highlights how the pernicious myth of NASA as wasteful spending perpetuates through our culture.

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I Remember Bruce Murray
The Personal Side of a Planetary Radio Tribute

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/09/03 10:03 CDT | 1 comments

This week's Planetary Radio is a tribute to the Planetary Society's co-founder, Chairman and President. Mat provides a more personal tribute in this blog post.

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Is the study of astrophysics self-indulgent?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/07/23 09:55 CDT | 15 comments

Is the study of astrophysics self-indulgent? I was caught aback by that assertion, made by a recent graduate in the latest issue of the Brown University alumni magazine.

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Ten years since Spirit's launch

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/06/10 04:10 CDT | 1 comments

Ten years ago, Spirit launched on a Delta II rocket toward Mars, and I was there to see it.

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Planetary Science Echoes Through the Halls of Congress
We traveled to D.C. to advocate for continued planetary exploration at NASA

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/05/21 02:12 CDT | 3 comments

The Planetary Society just returned from a big trip to Washington, D.C. to advocate for continued planetary exploration. Here's what happened.

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Speaking engagements next week: Spacefest V and Society for Astronomical Sciences symposium

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/17 02:10 CDT | 4 comments

Next week I'm traveling to speak at two events. Registration is still open for both, so I hope some of you can come. I also have some commentary on women being invited to speak at public events.

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Connecting scientist mentors with students who have the desire to learn

Posted by Caleph Wilson on 2013/05/16 02:38 CDT | 9 comments

Caleph Wilson provides examples and guidance to scientists wishing to mentor students in science, technology, engineering, and math outreach programs.

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Brief update with good news on Kiera Wilmot

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/16 02:38 CDT | 3 comments

Two weeks ago I wrote about Kiera Wilmot, a teen girl who was expelled from her school and charged with two felonies for unsupervised messing around with a chemical reaction on school grounds. Yesterday the Orlando Sentinel reported that no charges are being filed against her, which removes the greatest threat to her future.

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Planetary Society Hangout: A Day in the Life of the Opportunity Rover with Emily Dean
Thursday, May 9, at noon PDT/1900h UTC

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/05/09 02:20 CDT | 1 comments

Thursday, May 9th, at noon PDT/3pm EDT/1900h UTC, we are joined by Emily Dean, who works on the camera team for the Opportunity rover on Mars.

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Thoughts on Kiera Wilmot: Mentor curiosity to create future scientists

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/03 12:30 CDT | 32 comments

Please bear with me -- this blog entry has nothing to do with planets but a lot to do with society. For the last two days, my Twitter feed has been roiling with outrage about the story of Kiera Wilmot.

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Curiosity on Mars - Design, Planning, and the First Mars Year of Operations

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/04/26 04:14 CDT | 16 comments

Last month, I formally entered a new phase of my career: I signed my first book contract. I'll be writing a book about the Curiosity mission through its prime mission, for Springer-Praxis.

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An Amazing Evening for Planetary Defense
Join us via Planetary Radio and complete video coverage.

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/04/23 07:12 CDT | 1 comments

Bill Nye, Bruce Betts, Mat Kaplan, Meteorite Man Geoffrey Notkin and stars of planetary science at the Planetary Defense Conference public event in Flagstaff.

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Send Us Your Sequestration Stories
Let's put a human face on the policy

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/03/15 04:36 CDT | 3 comments

Are you a scientist or student that has felt an impact from sequestration? Tell us your story.

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A post about International Women's Day

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/08 11:22 CST | 7 comments

Today, March 8, is International Women's Day, about which I have conflicting feelings.

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Vermin of the Sky
The Society's Long History with Asteroids

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2013/02/19 12:05 CST | 3 comments

Executive Director Emeritus Louis Friedman writes about Asteroid programs of The Planetary Society.

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Observing 2012 DA14

Posted by Edward Gomez on 2013/02/18 05:14 CST | 4 comments

Mostly the Universe stays unchanged for hundreds, thousands or even millions of years. There are some cases however when some things change really rapidly. Recently I observed one of these rapidly changing, transient phenomena, as asteroid called 2012 DA14. I work for Las Cumbres Observatory and we have been trying to observe this asteroid since 5 February.

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