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What's Up

with Bruce Betts

Our resident planetary scientist and director of projects keeps you up-to-date on our exciting sci-tech projects, while dropping the occasional Random Space Fact.

Book Announcement and Excerpt: Astronomy for Kids

Bruce Betts • October 13, 2018 • 1

For Astronomy Day, Bruce announces his new book Astronomy for Kids, provides excerpts, and gives some bonus planet observing info.

NASA Then & Now

Bruce Betts • October 02, 2018 • 2

A collection of before and after slider images showing how views of planets in our solar system have changed over the years since NASA was created.

See Mars at its closest in 15 years—and maybe a lunar eclipse

Bruce Betts • July 23, 2018

Later this week, Mars will be closer and brighter than it has been since 2003. And about half the Earth will see a lunar eclipse!

Will an asteroid hit Earth? Your questions answered.

Bruce Betts • June 26, 2018

The Planetary Society presents a list of Frequent Asteroid Questions (FAQs).

A Planetary Vacuum Successfully Takes a Rocket Ride

Bruce Betts • June 07, 2018

Rocket science met planetary science in the California desert when PlanetVac, a new planetary surface sampling technique, was successfully tested on a Xodiac rocket.

Announcing the 2018 Shoemaker NEO Grant Winners

Bruce Betts • March 12, 2018

Seven very advanced amateur astronomers will help find, track, and characterize near Earth asteroids.

Your guide to future total solar eclipses

Bruce Betts • October 02, 2017 • 1

Bruce Betts provides a guide to all total solar eclipses through the end of the 2020s, with dates and locations.

Your Guide to the Great American Eclipse of 2017

Bruce Betts • July 17, 2017 • 4

The Moon will totally eclipse the Sun for the first time as seen from the continental United States in more than 40 years on August 21, 2017. What are eclipses, and what's special about this one?

Listen Up! Microphones to Fly to Mars

Bruce Betts • July 15, 2016 • 2

The Mars 2020 mission will carry microphones in its EDL package and its SuperCam instrument, which will enable us to finally hear the sounds of Mars. The Planetary Society has been trying to get microphones to Mars for 20 years and is ecstatic that these will fly.

A new hope for a microphone on Mars: Enhancing Mars 2020 science with sound

Bruce Betts and Emily Lakdawalla • February 15, 2016 • 11

When the Mars 2020 rover lands, we may finally hear the first audio recordings from the Martian surface.

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