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Blog Archive

 

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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Found a Killer Asteroid? Who Ya Gonna Call?
Tim Spahr of the Minor Planet Center on Planetary Radio

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/07/08 04:19 CDT

Astronomer Timothy Spahr directs the Minor Planet Center, the global clearinghouse for asteroids, comets and other relatively small objects in the solar system, including moons. He also coordinates the Society's Shoemaker NEO grant program.

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PlanetVac Moving Forward
Meet the Team and Learn What They are Doing

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/07/03 01:23 CDT | 4 comments

Meet the PlanetVac team and learn their general plan and what they are doing now. PlanetVac is a newly started Planetary Society and Honeybee Robotics project to test a pneumatic system to sample planetary surfaces.

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PlanetVac Project Underway
Planetary Society Sponsored Surface Sampling Project

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/07/01 02:56 CDT | 1 comment

The Planetary Society's PlanetVac project with Honeybee Robotics is now fully underway. Here we provide a just released statement by Honeybee, and an introduction to this lab test of a new planetary surface sampling system.

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Planetary Society Hangout: LaserBees, Asteroids, and Planet Vacuums
Thursday, Jun 13, noon PDT/1900 UTC

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/06/13 12:39 CDT | 1 comment

We check in with Dr. Bruce Betts, our Director of Projects, on the latest from our current programs funded by our members.

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Planetary Defense Conference 2013 Part 3
Laser Bees

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/06/12 09:19 CDT | 3 comments

Part 3 of Bruce Betts' wrap up from the Planetary Defense Conference 2013 focuses on the Laser Bees (asteroid deflection method) project and Laser Bees researcher Alison Gibbings.

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Saving the World: Shoemaker NEO Grant Winners Announced

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/04/17 09:02 CDT | 2 comments

What do the discovery of close fly by asteroid 2012 DA14 and the most productive near Earth object (NEO) follow-up tracking program in the world have in common? They were both made possible by Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO Grants. And, now, we again invest in the future and defending against the asteroid threat to Earth. NEO Shoemaker Award winners for 2013 announced.

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This Week at The Planetary Defense Conference
Newest winners in our Shoemaker NEO Grants program to be announced on Wednesday

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/04/16 11:52 CDT | 2 comments

Bruce Betts and The Planetary Society are at the International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defense Conference (PDC) in Flagstaff, Arizona. The PDC is held every two years and brings together world experts in saving the world from asteroid impact. The Planetary Society has long been a co-sponsor of the conference. The newest winners in our Shoemaker NEO Grants program will be announced on Wednesday a the conference.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: the Giant ALMA Observatory, and Asteroid Tracking

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/03/20 01:31 CDT

Bruce Betts, Mat Kaplan, and asteroid tracker Robert Holmes on the Planetary Society Weekly Google Hangout. Mat discussed and showed pictures from his trip to the giant ALMA observatory and we'll be joined by asteroid tracker extraordinaire, Robert Holmes.

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Let’s Reckon Time Together
Observe the Shadow of Our EarthDial

Posted by Bill Nye on 2013/03/20 12:51 CDT | 2 comments

The EarthDial project was born in 2004, and we’re bring it back again for the Curiosity mission. It’s a sundial visually reminiscent of the MarsDials, but exactly ten times as big. We encourage you to set up your own EarthDial, rig up a webcam, and post the images. In the coming weeks, we’ll coordinate the EarthDials from around the world, just as we did for a few years after the Spirit & Opportunity landings. It’s a remarkable project that can engage individuals, classrooms, or entire schools. The price of webcams has come way down in recent years. So, we’re hopeful that several readers of this blog will give it a try.

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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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The Sky Was Falling! A Meteoric Airburst Over Russia and the Encounter with 2012 DA14
Enjoy our Planetcast webcast with Bill Nye and Bruce Betts

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/02/18 03:27 CST

SEE IT NOW: The Planetary Society's CEO, Bill Nye the Science Guy, joined Director of Projects Bruce Betts for a live webcast as 2012 DA14, a 45-meter asteroid, was passing Earth. Bill and Bruce also marveled at video of the meteor burst high over a city in Russia.

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