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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.

Video: Comet ISON: Super Bright or Super Lame?

Bruce Betts • November 12, 2013 • 2

Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) was touted months ago by media as the possible comet of the century. Will it be that, or a cosmic dud? Find out the basics about the in this short video.

Laser Bees Update

Bruce Betts • October 29, 2013 • 3

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.

One More U.N. Step Forward on NEOs

Bruce Betts • October 24, 2013 • 1

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

Alpha Centauri Planet Hunt Update

Bruce Betts • October 15, 2013 • 2

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

Bruce Betts • October 08, 2013

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.

Has Voyager 1 left the Solar System?

Bruce Betts • September 12, 2013 • 3

Has Voyager 1 left the Solar System? NASA announced it has entered interstellar space. What does that mean? Check out this short video discussing the answers.

Bruce Murray: Personal Reflections of a Former Student

Bruce Betts • August 29, 2013 • 2

I am saddened by the loss of my professor and mentor, Bruce Murray. I celebrate him here by sharing some personal memories and reflections. There is much to respect, and also much to amuse as we reflect on the life of this great man.

Asteroid Telescope First Light

Bruce Betts • August 16, 2013 • 5

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

Determining Near Earth Asteroids’ Properties from the California Desert

Bruce Betts • August 05, 2013 • 2

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.

Upgraded Alpha Centauri Planet Search Underway

Bruce Betts • July 26, 2013 • 1

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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