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Blog Archive

 

Swirly PlanetVac

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/05/01 07:21 CDT

There are swirly indications from a study of how to optimize the lander pad portion of the Planetary Society/Honeybee Robotics PlanetVac planetary surface sampling system.

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Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 12: The Sun and Stars

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/05/01 05:31 CDT

Explore the physical characteristics and inner workings of the Sun and then learn all about Stars and Stellar Evolution in this video of class 12 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

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Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 11: Exoplanets and Solar System Origin and Formation

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/04/25 04:30 CDT

Learn about the formation and origin of the Solar System and go beyond our neighborhood to investigate exoplanets (planets around other stars) in this video of class 11 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

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Update on the search for planets in the Alpha Centauri system

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/04/04 10:29 CDT | 2 comments

Update from Debra Fischer and her team on the intriguing results of their observations of the main Alpha Centauri stars, as well as future plans.

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Shining Up A Telescope

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/03/21 11:50 CDT

A 0.81m telescope in northern Italy is well on its way to being wide eyed and shiny thanks to a 2013 Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO Grant, which will enable it to make better near Earth object observations to help protect our planet from asteroid impact.

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PlanetVac at the IEEE Aerospace Conference

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/03/07 04:35 CST | 1 comment

PlanetVac project leader Kris Zacny of Honeybee Robotics reports on presenting results of the Planetary Society project PlanetVac that created a prototype planetary dirt sampling system and tested it under Martian pressures.

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We Did It! Thank You!

Posted by Bill Nye on 2014/01/20 08:54 CST | 2 comments

I recently asked every Planetary Society Member to participate in our $75,000 matching gift challenge. I’m proud to announce that not only did you meet our goal, you exceeded it!

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Winter 2013 Issue of The Planetary Report Now Available Online

Posted by Donna Stevens on 2014/01/16 11:29 CST

The Winter 2013 issue of The Planetary Report is finally on press and will be mailing soon. However, the electronic version is available online for members to start reading now!

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Fly your name to an asteroid!

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/01/15 12:28 CST | 15 comments

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission and The Planetary Society invite people worldwide to fly their names on a round-trip ride to the target of the OSIRIS-REx mission, the asteroid Bennu.

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Planetary Radio: NEOWISE PI Amy Mainzer
NEOWISE has reawakened to discover more asteroids and comets. The mission leader thanks the amateur astronomers who follow up.

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2014/01/01 12:56 CST | 1 comment

NEOWISE has reawakened to discover many more asteroids and comets. The mission leader thanks the amateur astronomers who follow up on these discoveries.

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Planetary Dirt Sampling Success

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/12/04 01:17 CST | 3 comments

We present an update and a video about the successful design, construction, and testing in a vacuum chamber by Honeybee Robotics of a prototype PlanetVac system, a new planetary surface sampling technique, sponsored by The Planetary Society. PlanetVac is a reliable system that effectively vacuums up planetary surface materials.

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Planetary Radio: Looking for Intelligence in a Flash
The All-Sky OSETI Search Gets Even Better

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/11/05 10:58 CST | 1 comment

An update on the Planetary Society's improved Optical SETI search, with Harvard's Paul Horowitz and Curtis Mead.

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Laser Bees Update

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/10/29 05:42 CDT | 3 comments

An update from University of Strathclyde researchers about the Planetary Society sponsored laboratory Laser Bees asteroid deflection project including a new laser and other lab equipment, and the start of new related projects.

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One More U.N. Step Forward on NEOs

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/10/24 04:17 CDT | 1 comment

This week, the United Nations will move one step closer to an international response to the threat from near Earth objects (NEOs).

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Alpha Centauri Planet Hunt Update

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/10/15 11:27 CDT | 2 comments

An update from Yale’s Debra Fischer about the Alpha Centauri planet hunt, partially sponsored by The Planetary Society, as well as her team’s efforts to remove “noise” from parent stars to help find exoplanets.

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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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Asteroid Telescope First Light

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/08/16 03:04 CDT | 5 comments

Using a Shoemaker NEO Grant a new telescope is operating in Illinois to do asteroid tracking.

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Determining Near Earth Asteroids’ Properties from the California Desert

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/08/05 05:04 CDT | 2 comments

Shoemaker NEO Grant winner Bob Stephens specializes in lightcurves of near Earth asteroids to determine their physical properties. Here is an update on recent progress using his 2013 Planetary Society grant. This is the first in a series of updates on Shoemaker NEO Grant winners.

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Upgraded Alpha Centauri Planet Search Underway

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/07/26 04:32 CDT

The Planetary Society sponsored Alpha Centauri planet search started using a newly upgraded system in May. Here is a quick update including info from project leader Debra Fischer from Yale about their new system.

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Laser Bees Papers

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/07/11 06:17 CDT | 4 comments

For those wishing to bore into more details of our Laser Bees project itself, graduate student Alison Gibbings from the University of Strathclyde has sent their technical paper that resulted from the 2013 Planetary Defense Conference.

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