AidSpace Blog

Tag Archives: planets

Keeping Watch on Venus

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Venus has almost the same diameter as the Earth and is the next closest planet to the Sun. The similarity ends with the weather report, however. The surface temperature is more than 465 o C (870o F) and atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of Earth. The surface is hidden from view by a dense blanket   …Continue Reading


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