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Category: Science

A Multi-Faceted View of Solar System Worlds

To Dr. Katherine de Kleer, science is at its best when diverse areas of study converge. Her career is an inspired case in point, drawing people and perspectives together to sharpen our understanding of the enormous, enigmatic cosmos.

Collaboration Meets Inspiration to Advance Planetary Science

Hot Jupiters. Super-Earths. There is nothing like these types of exoplanets in our own solar system—which makes them an ideal focus for Dr. Songhu Wang’s research. His goal is to explore how our solar system fits into the grander scheme of the cosmos.

51 Pegasi b Fellow Dr. Samantha Trumbo Identifies Internal Carbon Source on Europa

Jupiter’s moon Europa has a subsurface ocean thought to contain twice the amount of water of Earth’s oceans. But scientists had not been able to confirm if the ocean contains biologically essential chemicals for life as we know it, particularly carbon, until now.

Looking to Clouds in the Search for Habitable Exoplanets

What can clouds on distant planets tell us in our search for habitable planets elsewhere? How could the next generation of telescopes amplify our understanding of exoplanet atmospheres?

Imagery that Moves Planets and People

A glowing dot passes behind a blackened circle and reappears on the other side. Four luminous pin pricks orbit a dark central body. These moving images are not models. They are real exoplanets: directly observed, recorded, and time-lapsed, inviting people around the world to glimpse distant solar systems and their dynamics over more than a decade—in just seconds.

Science Program Director Dr. Cyndi Atherton Appointed to National Academies’ Climate Crossroads Advisory Committee

Heising-Simons Foundation Science Program Director Dr. Cyndi Atherton has been appointed to the inaugural advisory committee of Climate Crossroads, a new climate initiative of grantee partner the National Academies. Climate Crossroads will focus on key pathways to tackle the climate crisis. “The National Academies are committed to marshaling the deep and broad expertise that this …

Heising-Simons Foundation Funds Six Scientists Looking for Signatures of Life in the Universe

The Heising-Simons Foundation’s Science program has made a suite of grants totaling $550,000 to support six exoplanet scientists working on projects that originated in a Scialog program entitled “Signatures of Life in the Universe,” convened by Research Corporation for Science Advancement.

Science Program Director Cyndi Atherton to Moderate Climate Crossroads Summit Panel

Science Program Director Dr. Cyndi Atherton will moderate the Pathways to Climate Action panel session at The National Academies’ Climate Crossroads Summit on July 11. The National Academies’ Climate Crossroads Summit will bring together leaders spanning the breadth of expertise for a vibrant discussion about how to catalyze action among a diverse range of stakeholders …

51 Pegasi b Fellow Discovers First Extrasolar Radiation Belt: Q&A with Dr. Melodie Kao

A team of scientists led by Dr. Melodie Kao, a 51 Pegasi b postdoctoral fellow based at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has discovered the first extra-solar radiation belt, a zone of energetic charged particles that are captured by and held around a planet by that planet’s magnetosphere. See below for a Q&A with …