Solar System

Planning Missions to Mars and Beyond

Margaret Race is a biologist and environmental ecologist who works with NASA and the SETI Institute. Her focus is planetary protection and science policy--avoiding cross-contamination of planets and moons during space missions in our solar system. Dr. Race will join us at Newark Library for a talk and program that the entire family can enjoy. Come learn what goes into planning missions to Mars…
Mars

Mars is Ready for its Close-Up

Want to go to Mars? You may have to book a seat and wait a few years (or more). But here’s the good news: Mars is coming to you. Or at least, it’s getting closer to you … closer than it’s been since 2003. This is simply a consequence of the fact that Earth and Mars are on orbital racetracks around the Sun, and while the Red Planet paces down the course at 15 miles per second, Earth – which…
Mars Ice

Possible Underground Lake Discovered on Mars

A new study published on the journal Science suggests that there may be a liquid water lake below the ice on Mars’ south pole. While water is thought to have once been abundant on Mars billions of years ago, this is the first to be found. Researchers used radar data from an instrument called MARSIS to look below the surface of Mars. MARSIS is on board a European Space Agency spacecraft called…

Destination Mars – Putting American Boots on the Surface of the Red Planet

Dava Newman, who sits on the SETI Institute's Board of Trustees will testify. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, will convene a hearing titled “Destination Mars – Putting American Boots on the Surface of the Red Planet” at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. The hearing will focus on the National Aeronautics and Space…
Search team pointing to the first meteorite found

Fragment of Impacting Asteroid Recovered In Botswana

(Mountain View, CA, July 6, 2018) A meteorite was found in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) that is a fragment of asteroid 2018 LA. This small asteroid was discovered in space by the University of Arizona's Catalina Sky Survey on June 2, 2018, eight hours before hitting Earth. The asteroid burst through the upper atmosphere and resulted in a meteor fireball.  The asteroid detonated…

Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series: Chasing New Horizons – Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto

This Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series event has passed, but a video of the lecture can be found here. Drs. Alan Stern and David Grinspoon will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk. In July 2015, humanity’s fastest spacecraft, “New Horizons,” flew by Pluto, revealing details of its surprisingly active surface and atmosphere for the first time.  Come hear the mission’s Principal…

Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series: Rubble Piles in the Sky: The Science, Exploration, and Danger of Near-Earth Asteroids

This Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series event has passed, but a video of the lecture can be found here. Dr. Michael Busch, of the SETI Institute, will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk Near-Earth asteroids are a population of small bodies whose orbits around the Sun cross or come near our planet’s orbit.  They turn out to be unusual physical environments: rubble piles, with…

Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series: When Mars Was Like Earth: Five Years of Exploration with NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover

This Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series event has passed, but a video of the lecture can be found here. Dr. Ashwin Vasavada, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk. More than five years after its dramatic arrival at Mars, the car-sized Curiosity rover continues to reveal Mars as a once-habitable planet. Early in Mars' history, rivers and…

Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS): 50th Annual Meeting

DPS 50th Annual Meeting The Division for Planetary Sciences is a division of the American Astronomical Society devoted to Solar System research. Program schedule to be announced.

Spacefest IX: The Event for Space Enthusiasts

Spacefest is THE event for space enthusiasts of any stripe – Astronomy, Human Space Exploration, Robotic Space Exploration, Commercial Space Development or Space History Enthusiast. For the Professional and Amateur. Pascal Lee, SETI Institute Planetary Scientist: "Humans to Mars: From Vision to Reality" Seth Shostak, SETI Institute Fellow and Senior Scientist: "Light Signals from ET" Other…