Category Archives: New and Noteworthy

Planetary Science Palooza at LPSC


Students, educators, program leaders, amateur astronomers, and families are invited to the first Planetary Science Palooza at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference! Meet planetary scientists, learn how and why we are studying the solar system, and explore hands-on activities. Join us on Sunday, March 19 from 1:00 to 4:30 pm in the Waterway 7 and 8 rooms at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, The Woodlands, Texas. Registration is recommended and free.

Solar Eclipse Events in Houston

Eclipse over Houston

The Lunar and Planetary Institute, in partnership with Levy Park and the Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library, will be helping Houstonians experience the solar eclipse over Houston on August 21. On that day, the Moon will pass directly between the Earth and sun, casting the Moon’s shadow on the continental U.S. from coast to coast for more than 90 minutes. This is the first total solar eclipse visible over the US since 1981 and the first since 1918 to be seen coast to coast. Mark your calendar and join scientists and educators from the LPI at Levy Park and at Freeman Library to witness this historic event. At both locations, safe solar viewing glasses will be available.

Destination Moon Exhibition at Space Center Houston in October


Space Center Houston will be the first stop for the touring exhibition “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission” that opens this October. This exhibition marks the first time that the Apollo 11 command module will leave the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum since a national tour in 1971. The exhibition will run from October 14, 2017 through March 18, 2018 as part of Space Center Houston’s 25th anniversary year jubilee celebration. Other destinations in the four-city tour are the Saint Louis Science Center in Missouri; the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.

Exploration of the Moon and Asteroids by Secondary Students (ExMASS)


The Exploration of the Moon and Asteroids by Secondary Students (ExMASS) program is managed by the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE), one of nine teams with the NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute. ExMASS is an academic year-long, national standards-based lunar/asteroid research program that envelops students in the process of science. Working alongside their teachers and a scientist advisor, students undertake authentic, open-inquiry research projects that engage them in the process of science. At the end of the year, student research is reviewed by a panel of scientists. The top four teams present their research to this panel of scientists, competing for a chance to present their work at the Exploration Science Forum held at the NASA Ames Research Center in the summer. Applications for the 2017-2018 ExMASS program are due by March 31.

THEMIS by the Numbers

10 Years Strong NASA's THEMIS Mission
The Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms, or THEMIS, mission recently marked its 10th anniversary in space. In 2010, after the end of THEMIS’ prime mission, two of the five mission spacecraft split off to start the Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun (ARTEMIS) mission to study the Moon and its space environment. Here is an infographic that describes THEMIS by the numbers.