Ben Burress

Benjamin Burress has been a staff astronomer at Chabot Space & Science Center since July 1999. He graduated from Sonoma State University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in physics (and minor in astronomy), after which he signed on for a two-year stint in the Peace Corps, where he taught physics and mathematics in the African nation of Cameroon. From 1989-96 he served on the crew of NASA’s Kuiper Airborne Observatory at Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. From 1996-99, he was Head Observer at the Naval Prototype Optical Interferometer program at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ. Read his previous contributions to QUEST, a project dedicated to exploring the Science of Sustainability.
Supernova 2011fe in M-101

Supernova Super Hero

Supernova SN2011fe, nearby in the galaxy M-101, is the first stellar explosion of its type to be observed in decades, and offers astronomers a valuable opportunity to refine our understanding of the size and expansion of the Universe.

Vesta, image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft

Dawn of A New Era

We have achieved orbit - that is, NASA's Dawn spacecraft is now orbiting and studying the large asteroid Vesta.

The Little Prince

Dawn: Mission to Explore Strange New Worlds

We are soon to explore a new world, one that we haven't seen up close before: the asteroid Vesta. What will we find, and why are we even interested in what amounts to a mega-mountain of rock hurtling through space?


The Sun is Having A Blast!

"Wow!" was what everyone who watched this solar flare event and enormous Coronal Mass Ejection were saying--pretty much all they could say with their jaws dropping the way they were.

Milky Way 2.0?

A recent image of a "twin-like" galaxy to the Milky Way may offer us the best glimpse of our home that we'll ever see.

AMS-2 on the ISS, artist concept

Dark Endeavours

When NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off on its 25th and final mission to space on Monday morning, it carried a bus-sized, two billion dollar observatory that will probe some of our Universe's deepest, darkest secrets: dark matter, and the unaccounted antimatter.

SDO extreme ultraviolet composite image of Sun

Serving Up Delicious Scoops of Sun Daily

The Solar Dynamics Observatory was launched last year, and since then has been capturing high resolution, multi-wavelength visible and extreme-ultraviolet imagery at very frequent intervals.