The Planetary Science Institute (PSI) is a research institute based in Tucson, Arizona, focusing on planetary science. Founded in 1972 on a non-profit basis, it is involved in many NASA missions, the study of Mars, asteroids, comets, interplanetary dust, the formation of the Solar System, extrasolar planets, the origin of life, and other scientific topics. It is now actively participating in the Dawn mission, scheduled to explore Vesta between 2011 and 2012, and Ceres in 2015. PSI manages the spacecraft's Gamma-Ray and Neutron Detector, which will map the surfaces of the two minor planets to determine how they were formed and evolved. The Institute's orbit@home is a distributed computing project through which the public can help in the search for near-Earth objects. The Institute is also involved in science education through school programs, popular science books and art. Its scientific Staff are distributed in 16 US states and in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Russia and Australia. Its present director (2009) is Dr. Mark V. Sykes.

Website
http://www.psi.edu/
Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_Science_Institute

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White dwarf stars' debris disk formation delayed

White dwarfs, the glowing cores of dead stars, often host disks of dusty debris. However, these debris disks only appear 10 to 20 millions of years following the star's violent Red Giant phase. A new paper by Planetary Science ...

'Yellowballs' offer new insights into star formation

A serendipitous discovery by citizen scientists has provided a unique new window into the diverse environments that produce stars and star clusters, revealing the presence of "stellar nurseries" before infant stars emerge ...

Comet 2019 LD2 (ATLAS) found to be actively transitioning

A comet discovered last year is offering scientists new insights into how these objects "turn on" and evolve, as it actually transitions out of the Centaur population and into the Jupiter Family of Comets (JFCs), according ...

Titan's lakes can stratify like those on Earth

Lakes on Saturn's moon Titan, composed of methane, ethane, and nitrogen rather than water, experience density driven stratification, forming layers similar to lakes on Earth. However, whereas lakes on Earth stratify in response ...

New chronology of the Saturn system

A new chronology for the moons of Saturn has been developed by Planetary Science Institute Associate Research Scientist Samuel W. Bell.

New method determines planetary regolith thermal conductivity

A new analytic model for calculating the effective thermal conductivity of planetary regolith allows scientists to better understand the connections between the physical and thermal properties of planetary surfaces and the ...

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