Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
LightSail 2 is about to burn up
After 3.5 years, 18,000 orbits of the Earth, and 8 million kilometers (5 million miles) traveled, The Planetary Society’s successful LightSail 2 solar sail spacecraft will burn up as it reenters the Earth’s atmosphere in the next few days.
LightSail 2 getting lower as it completes third year in space
An update on The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 mission, which launched in 2015.
Updates from our Shoemaker NEO Grant winners
Brief updates on what the latest Shoemaker NEO grant winners have been working on.
Request for Proposals for the 2022 Science and Technology Empowered by the Public (STEP) Grants
We are excited to announce a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for our Science and Technology Empowered by the Public (STEP) Grants.
Announcing the First-Ever STEP Grant Winners: Citizen Science SETI and Determining Asteroid Properties
The new STEP Grants program is designed to regularly compete a significant portion of The Planetary Society’s science and technology portfolio.
Announcing the 2021 Shoemaker NEO Grant Winners
More funds than ever before support the work of asteroid hunters from around the world.
LightSail 2 completes second year in space
Two years after launch, The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft is still solar sailing and paving the way for future missions.
Shoemaker NEO Grant Winners Advance Their Work
We check in our last round of grant winners, who are helping to defend Earth from dangerous asteroids.
Your guide to future total solar eclipses
Bruce Betts and Sarah Al-Ahmed provided a guide to all total solar eclipses through the end of the 2020s, with dates and locations.
What Is a Solar Eclipse? Your Questions Answered.
Your guide to total, partial, and annular eclipses: what causes them, what you'll see, and when the next one will happen.
Announcing the 2019 Shoemaker NEO Grant Winners
Six proposals are awarded a total of $57,906. The winners come from 4 countries on 3 continents.
The Planetary Society Announces 2019 Call for Proposals for Shoemaker NEO Grant Program
Our grants fund amateur observers, underfunded professional observers, and observers in developing countries who make vital contributions to NEO research.
A Busy Summer
Bruce Betts reports on LightSail 2’s status and looks to the future of solar sailing.
Book Announcement and Excerpt: Astronomy for Kids
For Astronomy Day, Bruce announces his new book Astronomy for Kids, provides excerpts, and gives some bonus planet observing info.
NASA Then & Now
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.
Will an Asteroid Hit Earth? Your Questions Answered.
The Planetary Society presents a list of Frequent Asteroid Questions (FAQs).
A Planetary Vacuum Successfully Takes a Rocket Ride
Rocket science met planetary science in the California desert when PlanetVac, a new planetary surface sampling technique, was successfully tested on a Xodiac rocket.
The 2018 Gene Shoemaker NEO Grant Recipients
In 2018, The Planetary Society awarded $59,300 as part of its Gene Shoemaker Near Earth Object (NEO) Grant Program. The grants were made to a group of international researchers to find, track, and characterize potentially hazardous NEOs.
Announcing the 2018 Shoemaker NEO Grant Winners
Seven very advanced amateur astronomers will help find, track, and characterize near Earth asteroids.
Listen Up! Microphones to Fly to Mars
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.