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Blog Archive


Mastcam-Z: The Future of Stereo Imaging on Mars

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/10/29 06:24 CDT

An introduction to the Mastcam-Z stereo imager on the Mars 2020 rover, and brief reporting and reflections on team meetings, science instruments, and the exciting future of The Planetary Society covering the entire lifetime of this instrument, from design to Mars images.

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5 Steps to Preventing Asteroid Impact

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/06/30 12:33 CDT | 2 comments

For Asteroid Day, Bruce Betts reviews 5 steps needed to prevent asteroid impact, as well as how The Planetary Society is involved in those.

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Tonight I Glimpsed LightSail

Posted by Bill Nye on 2015/06/14 03:05 CDT | 7 comments

Tonight, for the first time, I glimpsed our spacecraft with my own eyes. It was just the faintest pinprick against the bright lights of the big city. But, there it was right on time and exactly per the coordinates.

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We Love A Crowd!

Posted by Richard Chute on 2015/05/14 05:43 CDT | 2 comments

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.

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New Horizons One Earth Message

Posted by Mark Washburn on 2015/04/24 02:08 CDT | 3 comments

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.

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Shoemaker NEO Grant Winners Announced: Saving the World

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/04/15 01:03 CDT

The six winners of the 2015 Shoemaker NEO Grants will use the grants to upgrade their observatories to improve their abilities to study potentially dangerous asteroids.

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Planetary Defense Conference: Steps to Prevent Asteroid Impact

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/04/13 07:23 CDT | 1 comments

From Italy, Bruce Betts gives background and information at the start of the Planetary Defense Conference, which addresses the asteroid threat. Bruce summarizes steps to prevent asteroid impact.

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A Love Letter to Science Education

Posted by Whitney Pratz on 2015/04/03 06:37 CDT | 2 comments

The Planetary Society Operations Assistant Whitney Pratz reports from the National Science Teacher Association Conference and on the development of our youth education and outreach program, Planetary Kids.

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Revitalized 0.81m telescope studying properties of NEOs

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/03/31 11:04 CDT

Thanks to a new focal reducer and re-aluminized mirror from a Shoemaker NEO grant, a 0.81-meter telescope in Italy is performing astrometric follow-up observations and physical studies of asteroids.

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Announcing: Planetary TV!

Posted by Merc Boyan on 2015/03/20 10:55 CDT | 1 comments

Planetary Society Media Producer Merc Boyan presents our new video resource.

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Remembering Charles Townes

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2015/01/31 09:08 CST | 2 comments

Mat Kaplan honors the memory of a scientific pioneer.

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Camera now measuring even fainter Near-Earth Objects

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/01/30 07:03 CST

Camera purchased with the support of a 2009 Shoemaker NEO Grant is now on a new telescope providing follow-up measurements for even fainter near-Earth objects.

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Sky survey grant helps lead to a space science career

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/01/16 01:15 CST

Quan-Zhi Ye was an 18 year-old college student and the principal investigator of the Lulin Sky Survey when he won a 2007 Shoemaker NEO grant. He's now a Ph.D. candidate and provides an update on his work in meteor studies.

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2007 Shoemaker Grant Still Yielding Asteroid Science

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2015/01/06 05:15 CST

Telescope purchased in 2007 with the support of a Shoemaker grant is still in service and has worked on over 100 near-Earth asteroids over its 8 years of operation.

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A Look Back at an Amazing Year

Posted by Jennifer Vaughn on 2014/12/31 01:16 CST

As excited as we are to jump into 2015, I want to take time to reflect on the year coming to a close and applaud all that we’ve accomplished working together.

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New camera improves a California near-Earth asteroid program

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/12/29 04:40 CST

A new camera is improving the efficiency of the Near-Earth Asteroid Program at the Center for Solar System Studies. This update from Shoemaker NEO Grant winner Bob Stephens reveals amazing recent progress using his 2013 Planetary Society grant.

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Calling Serious Asteroid Hunters
New Shoemaker NEO Grant Call for Proposals

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/11/24 10:00 CST

I am happy to announce a new call for proposals for The Planetary Society’s Gene Shoemaker Near Earth Object (NEO) grant program. Proposals are due Feb. 2, 2015.

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Hunting Binary Asteroids

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/11/07 05:31 CST

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.

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Using Lasers to Lock Down Exoplanet Hunting

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/09/26 05:59 CDT

The Planetary Society is launching a new collaboration with Yale exoplanet hunter Debra Fischer and her team, the Exoplanets Laser project. We will support the purchase of an advanced, ultra stable laser to be used in a complex system they are designing to push radial velocity exoplanet hunting to a whole whole new level.

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LightSail Sails through Day-in-the-Life Test

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/09/24 03:49 CDT | 3 comments

The Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft passed a major system test in which its solar sails were deployed for the first time in two years.

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