AidSpace Blog

Tag Archives: planets

Bruce C. Murray

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1931– 2013 Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) from 1976 to 1982, Bruce Murray was a geologist whose vision was never earthbound. He earned his PhD from MIT and served two years in the U.S. Air Force before joining the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1960. Caltech manages JPL for NASA, and soon   …Continue Reading


The Abbreviated History of a Scientist (Namely, Myself)

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My first word was JET, since we lived near an Air Force base and experienced sonic booms on a regular basis. My fascination with the heavens took off from there. Growing up, my family went camping and backpacking a lot, and one of my clearest memories of that time is looking up at a dark,   …Continue Reading


Pluto’s Secret: Writing the Museum’s First Children’s Book

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How did three staff members at the National Air and Space Museum get to collaborate on the Museum’s first children’s book, Pluto’s Secret: An Icy World’s Tale of Discovery?  The short answer is that this is an extraordinary place to work.  And when people are as generous with their time and talents as my collaborators   …Continue Reading


Scratching Beneath the Surface

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What’s inside a planet? What instruments do scientists use to figure it out? And what clues does a planet’s surface give us? On Saturday, April 21, Lisa Walsh and I, scientists from the Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, invited visitors to the National Air and Space Museum’s Explore the Universe Family Day to   …Continue Reading


Shedding Light on a Common Problem

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If you’ve been to any of the nighttime observing sessions at our Public Observatory, you might have wondered why we mostly view the planets and the Moon. After all, the Observatory houses a professional 16-inch telescope, and several other high-quality portable telescopes; shouldn’t they be able to show us great views of galaxies or nebulas?   …Continue Reading