Press Releases

Tenerife, Canary Islands – March 25, 2011 – Among the most profound enterprises in human history is the search for our beginnings and our place among the stars. Utilizing the excitement of SETI research and NASA science, the SETI Institute is extending an invitation to that seemingly most unscientific of creatures: the artist.

Scientists at the SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif., and NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. believe that traces of Mars’ wet past are hidden from the scrutiny of space-borne instruments under a thin varnish of iron oxide, or rust.

WASHINGTON -- Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a fourth moon orbiting the icy dwarf planet Pluto. The tiny, new satellite, temporarily designated P4, was uncovered in a Hubble survey searching for rings around the dwarf planet.

The new moon is the smallest discovered around Pluto. It has an estimated diameter of 8 to 21 miles (13 to 34 km). By comparison, Charon, Pluto's largest moon, is 648 miles (1,043 km) across, and the other moons, Nix and Hydra, are in the range of 20 to 70 miles in diameter (32 to 113 km).

WASHINGTON -- Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a fourth moon orbiting the icy dwarf planet Pluto. The tiny, new satellite, temporarily designated P4, was uncovered in a Hubble survey searching for rings around the dwarf planet.

The new moon is the smallest discovered around Pluto. It has an estimated diameter of 8 to 21 miles (13 to 34 km). By comparison, Charon, Pluto's largest moon, is 648 miles (1,043 km) across, and the other moons, Nix and Hydra, are in the range of 20 to 70 miles in diameter (32 to 113 km).

WASHINGTON -- NASA’s History Program Office is releasing a new book that examines the different psychological factors that affect astronauts during space travel, especially long-duration missions.

PASADENA, Calif. – Like forensic scientists examining fingerprints at a cosmic crime scene, scientists working with data from NASA’s Cassini, Galileo and New Horizons missions have traced telltale ripples in the rings of Saturn and Jupiter back to collisions with cometary fragments dating back more than 10 years ago.

Berkeley — The asteroid Kleopatra, like its namesake, the last pharaoh and queen of Egypt, gave birth to twins – two moons probably spawnedby the asteroid sometime in the past 100 million years.

Mountain View, CA – This week astronomers from twelve countries on six continents will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) by beginning a coordinated series of observations of several nearby stars—including two stars that were the target of the first search.

Berkeley — The asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter is often depicted as a dull zone of dead rocks with an occasional wayward speedster smashing through on its way toward the sun.

A new study appearing in the Aug. 26 issue of the journal Nature paints a different picture, one of slow but steady change, where sunlight gradually drives asteroids to split in two and move far apart to become independent asteroids among the millions orbiting the sun.

(Mountain View, CA) More than two decades after the SETI Institute was founded in 1984, Frank Drake, the long-time Director of the Carl Sagan Center for Study of Life in the Universe, has announced a successor, David Morrison.

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