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Bruce's Blog

What's Up

with Bruce Betts

Our resident planetary scientist and Director of Projects will keep you up to date on all the exciting projects we are working on. From searching for dangerous asteroids to flying our very own solar sail spacecraft, Bruce will make sure you know what's going on plus enlighten you with his unique bits of space trivia with Random Space Facts, too!

Bruce Betts

Our Improved Optical Search for ET

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/10/08 11:15 CDT

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.

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Has Voyager 1 left the Solar System?

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/09/12 07:26 CDT | 3 comments

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.

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Bruce Murray: Personal Reflections of a Former Student

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/08/29 01:44 CDT | 2 comments

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.

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Asteroid Telescope First Light

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/08/16 03:04 CDT | 5 comments

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

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Determining Near Earth Asteroids’ Properties from the California Desert

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/08/05 05:04 CDT | 2 comments

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.

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Upgraded Alpha Centauri Planet Search Underway

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/07/26 04:32 CDT

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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Laser Bees Papers

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/07/11 06:17 CDT | 4 comments

For those wishing to bore into more details of our Laser Bees project itself, graduate student Alison Gibbings from the University of Strathclyde has sent their technical paper that resulted from the 2013 Planetary Defense Conference.

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PlanetVac Moving Forward

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/07/03 01:23 CDT | 4 comments

Meet the PlanetVac team and learn their general plan and what they are doing now. PlanetVac is a newly started Planetary Society and Honeybee Robotics project to test a pneumatic system to sample planetary surfaces.

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PlanetVac Project Underway

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/07/01 02:56 CDT | 1 comment

The Planetary Society's PlanetVac project with Honeybee Robotics is now fully underway. Here we provide a just released statement by Honeybee, and an introduction to this lab test of a new planetary surface sampling system.

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Planetary Society Hangout: Arkyd Telescopes, Planetary Resources, Chris Lewicki

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/06/27 11:15 CDT | 2 comments

We talked to Chris Lewicki, President of Planetary Resources, about their upcoming Arkyd telescopes including one for the public, asteroid mining, and more. Hosted by Bruce Betts with Jennifer Vaughn.

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