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Bruce Betts
Works at The Planetary Society
Attended Stanford University
Lives in Altadena, CA 91001
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Bruce Betts

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Cosmic spit-take: More Hubble Space Telescope evidence of variably occurring water vapor plumes coming out of Jupiter's moon Europa.
More info on this image and the plumes: hbbl.us/qc4P
The argument for more Europa exploration: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/casey-dreier/2016/0925-europa-is-crying-out-for-exploration.html
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A #SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blew up on the pad during a test today. No one was hurt, but the rocket and payload were complete losses. Here is amazing video of the explosion, which occurs about 1 minute into the video. Note the payload fairing (top of the rocket) falls a few seconds into the explosion setting off its own explosion when it hits. The primary payload was an Israeli communications satellite. For more info on this story, see:
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2016/20160901-falcon9-pad-explosion.html

https://youtu.be/_BgJEXQkjNQ
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Solar system planets to scale, including the largest planet: Max #NationalDogDay
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LOOK UP TONIGHT: bright, reddish Mars, yellowish Saturn, & the red star Antares are approximately lined up in evening South. Mars will move left relative to the others over the coming days and weeks.
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Watch #Olympics and ponder the scale of The Planetary Society's #LightSail spacecraft.
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The OSIRIS-REx Sample Return Mission is scheduled to launch today on an Atlas V. Launch window opens at 2305 UT/1605 PT. The mission will reach asteroid Bennu in 2018 and return samples in 2023. Here are some resources of interest for more info:

OSIRIS-REx carries more than 440,000 names collected by The Planetary Society to fly to an asteroid and the asteroid Bennu was named by a then 9 year old's entry in a competition run by The Planetary Society with the University of Arizona and MIT Lincoln Labs. Learn more: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2016/20160907-osiris-rex-ready-for-launch.html

Launch preview by Emily Lakdawalla:
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2016/08171334-osiris-rex-launch-preview.html

Launch live viewing:
www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/

Mission web page:
http://www.asteroidmission.org/
Launch day is coming for NASA's next interplanetary explorer! OSIRIS-REx is on schedule for launch on September 8, 2016 at 19:05 EDT (16:05 PDT, 23:05 UTC) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. OSIRIS-REx is the first NASA planetary launch since MAVEN in 2013, and will be the last until InSight in 2018.
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Celebrating #StarTrek50: watch the Random Space Fact video I was honored to do with Nichelle Nichols:
https://youtu.be/YEeegsrSq7Y
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Listen: My interview on @KPCC @TakeTwo last week about the #ProximaCentauri Earth'ish planet orbiting our nearest neighbor star http://www.scpr.org/programs/take-two/2016/08/25/51598/is-there-another-earth-out-there-maybe-and-its-not/
Astronomers may have found a planet that resembled Earth. Take Two’s A Martinez spoke with Bruce Betts of The Planetary Society.
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Hi "Neighbor": Today the European Southern Observatory announced the first planet to be discovered around our closest star neighbor (except the Sun), Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri is a Red Dwarf star - much smaller and cooler than the Sun. The planet, somewhat larger than Earth, orbits in only 11 days, and is much closer to its star than Mercury is to the Sun. But, because the star is so much cooler, it is still within the habitable zone, the zone where water could theoretically be liquid at its surface. And, liquid water is required for life. But, there may be other issues for habitability. The close proximity means the atmosphere may have been ripped off due to X-rays, UV, and coronal mass ejections. Red dwarfs including Proxima Centauri are very active, meaning more of those nasty things happening. But, who knows...for now.
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In the time #UsainBolt runs 100 meters in the #Olympics, all humans travel about 300,000 meters in orbit around the Sun
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Scale: When watching the #Olympics, ponder that if the Earth were the size of a basketball, Mars would be the size of a men's shot put > 1 km away. The Moon would be about the size of a tennis ball about 7 meters away.
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As you watch the #Olympics you can also ponder planetary scales:
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Tagline
Not Just Another Pretty Space: Random Space Facts and Easy Night Sky Info
Introduction
A Planetary Scientist and Director of Projects for the Planetary Society giving you fun space info in a short attention span format.
Education
  • Stanford University
    physics and mathematics, 1983 - 1987
  • California Institute of Technology
    Planetary Science, 1987 - 1993
  • Jesuit High School
    1979 - 1983
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Work
Employment
  • The Planetary Society
    Director of Projects, 2001 - present
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Altadena, CA 91001
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