Press Releases

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.

Award-Winning Astronomer and Researcher Honored in February 2009 Issue

Hi-Resolution Image Available Upon Request

Award-Winning Astronomer and Researcher Honored in February 2009 Issue

Hi-Resolution Image Available Upon Request

Electronic Arts’ eagerly awaited video game, Spore, which was released yesterday, is based on serious scientific research that is out of this world. Literally.

Layers of clay-rich rock have been found in Mars’ Mawrth Vallis, a potential landing site for future rovers.  This work, published in the August 8 issue of Science, suggests that abundant water was once present on Mars and that hydrothermal activity may have occurred.

Mountain View, CA – The X PRIZE Foundation and Google, Inc. today announced the first ten teams to register for the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon to win a remarkable $30 million in prizes. This international group of teams will compete to land a privately funded robotic craft on the Moon that is capable of roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending video, images and data back to the Earth.