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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PlanetVac Moving Forward
Meet the Team and Learn What They are Doing
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.
PlanetVac Project Underway
Planetary Society Sponsored Surface Sampling Project
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.
Planetary Society Hangout: LaserBees, Asteroids, and Planet Vacuums
Thursday, Jun 13, noon PDT/1900 UTC
We check in with Dr. Bruce Betts, our Director of Projects, on the latest from our current programs funded by our members.
Planetary Defense Conference 2013 Part 3
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.
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.
This Week at The Planetary Defense Conference
Newest winners in our Shoemaker NEO Grants program to be announced on Wednesday
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.
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.
Let’s Reckon Time Together
Observe the Shadow of Our EarthDial
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.
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.
Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/02/01 11:02 CST
David Warmflash, who organized a science (and peace) experiment with the Planetary Society for the ill fated STS-107 Columbia mission, reflects on that tragic day ten years ago.
Using a Planetary Society provided camera, Gary Hug in Kansas, USA discovered Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2013 AS27 on Jan. 7, 2013. Shoemaker winner Bob Holmes provided the first follow up observations of this 140m-310m wide asteroid.