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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.

This Week at The Planetary Defense Conference

Bruce Betts • April 16, 2013 • 2

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.

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

Bruce Betts • March 20, 2013

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.

In Memoriam: David S. McKay

Bruce Betts • February 21, 2013 • 1

NASA planetary scientist David S. McKay has passed away. He had an enormous impact on planetary studies over the course of his career. He also was a co-investigator on The Planetary Society LIFE experiments.

My Free Online College Intro Astronomy Class Starts Today

Bruce Betts • February 06, 2013 • 5

Bruce Betts is teaching online Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy at California State University Dominguez Hill again in 2013. You can watch live or archived.

Guide to Asteroid 2012 DA14 Super Close Approach

Bruce Betts • February 04, 2013 • 17

The 45 meter asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass closer to Earth than geostationary satellites on Feb. 15, 2013. Learn about the asteroid and what to expect from the close approach.

Reflections on the 10th Anniversary of Columbia Disaster from a Science Investigator

Bruce Betts • February 01, 2013

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.

Shoemaker Winner Hug Discovers Near Earth Asteroid 2013 AS27

Bruce Betts • January 10, 2013 • 8

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.

Calling (Really Serious) Asteroid Hunters

Bruce Betts • November 19, 2012 • 9

I am happy to announce a new call for proposals for The Planetary Society’s Gene Shoemaker Near Earth Object (NEO) grant program, which is celebrating its 15th Anniversary. Proposals are due Feb. 4, 2013.

PlanetVac: Sucking Up Planetary Regolith

Bruce Betts • October 30, 2012 • 3

Learn about the Planetary Society’s newest project: PlanetVac, with Honeybee Robotics, aims to prototype and test in a huge vacuum chamber a new way to sample planetary surfaces that could be used for sample return or for in situ instruments.

First Planet Discovered in Alpha Centauri System

Bruce Betts • October 17, 2012 • 12

European astronomers have made the first planetary discovery in the closest-to-Earth Alpha Centauri star system. Here is some information about the discovery, and insights from Yale Astronomer Debra Fischer, who leads another Alpha Centauri planet search partially supported by The Planetary Society.

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