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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.

New camera improves a California near-Earth asteroid program

Bruce Betts • December 29, 2014

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.

Random Space Fact Videos

Bruce Betts • December 19, 2014 • 2

Enjoy Random Space Fact Videos this holiday season. Each is designed in to give you at least one space fact and one laugh in about one minute. Here are the videos and the background on the concept.

Calling Serious Asteroid Hunters

Bruce Betts • November 24, 2014 • 1

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.

Hunting Binary Asteroids

Bruce Betts • November 07, 2014

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.

New Planetary Deep Drill Project

Bruce Betts • October 28, 2014 • 1

The Planetary Society has a futuristic new project: the Planetary Deep Drill with Honeybee Robotics to develop a prototype of a drill that could allow drilling hundreds of meters to even kilometers through planetary ices.

Video Introduction to Comet Siding Spring’s Near Miss at Mars

Bruce Betts • October 13, 2014

On October 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring will fly very close to Mars. Here’s a 5 minute video introduction to get you up to speed on this planetary near miss, and some suggestions on how to find out more now, during, and after the encounter.

Two Eclipses in October

Bruce Betts • October 06, 2014

October 2014 brings big sky fun: a total lunar and partial solar eclipse, both visible from North America. The lunar eclipse will also be visible from most areas around the Pacific Ocean. Here is info on how to observe these eclipses.

Using Lasers to Lock Down Exoplanet Hunting

Bruce Betts • September 26, 2014

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.

Last Chance to Fly Your Name to Asteroid Bennu

Bruce Betts • September 22, 2014 • 1

You have just until September 30, 2014 at 23:59 Pacific time, to submit your name, and to tell your friends and family to submit their names, to fly to asteroid Bennu and back on board NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission.

Submit Predictions to Fly in an Asteroid Time Capsule

Bruce Betts • September 02, 2014 • 1

You have four weeks left (until September 30, 2014) to submit names to send to an asteroid, and now you can also separately submit space exploration predictions or images to send in a time capsule to and from that same asteroid. Both sets of information will fly etched on microchips on board the NASA OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

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