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.
Artist depiction of NASA's Juno spacecraft after it enters a close orbit around Jupiter on July 4th.

On July 4, Jupiter Gets Its Close-Up

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.

Depiction of known Near Earth Asteroids in and around the Inner Solar System.

It’s Not Your Parents’ Solar System Anymore

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.