Press Releases

Stowaways in a small car-sized asteroid that crashed in northern Sudan in 2008 have revealed what happened to a mysterious dwarf planet that is dusting Earth with a rare type of meteorites. That dwarf planet did not survive the “Late Heavy Bombardment” that cratered the Moon surface, an international team of researchers report in the latest issue of the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.


Three-day festival ends on high note looking to the future of space exploration

SETIcon II Underway; Public Discussion of Space Exploration, Science, and Technology

The second full day of SETIcon II gets underway today at 9:30 a.m., at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, with a slate of science, technology, and space exploration presentations by some of the field’s leading researchers, as well as authors, artists, and former astronauts.

SETIcon—where Science and Imagination Meet—Kicks Off Today

Astronauts, Planet Hunters, Artists, Sci-Fi Actors & Writers Meet in Silicon Valley June 22-24

Mountain View, CA. Last night, a city-block sized asteroid did a fly-by of the Earth-Moon system. While there was no danger to our planet, Near Earth Asteroid (NEO) 2012 LZ1 was watched carefully by astronomers who track NEOs.

Mountain View, CA. Today, astronomers have announced new evidence that small planets – the type of worlds most favorable for biology – may be more common than thought.  Once believed to accompany only stars with a large helping of heavy elements, this result suggests that – like weeds that can grow anywhere – Earth-size planets can be found around nearly any type of star.  The new work bolsters the chances that scientists will eventually succeed in discovering extraterrestrial biology.

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. – NASA and the SETI Institute are asking the public for more information to help find amateur photos and video footage of the Sunday, April 22, 2012 meteor shower that illuminated the sky over the Sierra Nevada mountains.

NASA and SETI Institute scientists are seeking the photos and video footage to better analyze the trajectory of the meteorite and learn about its orbit in space.

Astronomers have discovered why we see meteors flash through the night sky while they seemingly rain down on us gently at the same time. In a paper published in the December 20 issue of the Astrophysical Journal, models of the zodiacal cloud are reconciled with radar observations, revealing a game of hide and seek and an interesting identity switcharoo.

“This detective story was much a case of meteors you can see and those you can’t”, says lead author and planetary astronomer David Nesvorny of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Mountain View, CA - Since the discovery of its two moons, the triple asteroid Minerva has been the focus of space and ground-based telescope studies that have attempted to unravel the secrets of this intriguing system. A multiple-telescope campaign has now revealed that Minerva is unusually round for an asteroid, and has a possibly unique structure. The campaign to “weigh” the asteroid and derive its density and other characteristics was undertaken by an international team of planetary astronomers led by Franck Marchis, researcher at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute.