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.
NASA's farthest-flung solar-powered robotic probe, Juno, has finally crossed over into Jupiter territory, where the gravitational attraction of the gas giant planet is stronger than the sun's. Juno is now on the threshold of a mission that promises to solve many long-standing mysteries about our solar system's largest planet.
In the past decade our understanding of the solar system has exploded as never before. This "springtime" of discovery is powered both by advancements in technology and a broader field of players participating in space exploration.
Seven months after its historic encounter with Pluto, NASA's New Horizons mission is still dazzling us with discoveries: ancient frozen canyons, chains of icebergs floating in rivers of exotic slush, signs of paleo-oceans, and more.
Two years ago, the asteroid 2013 TX68 flew by the Earth at a distance of 1.3 million miles—about five time farther away than the Moon. On March 5, this asteroid will give an encore performance, in case any fans of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) missed it the first time….