Scientists To Unveil New Planetary Science Discoveries This Week - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Scientists To Unveil New Planetary Science Discoveries This Week

Posted: Updated:

YAHOO.COM - Nearly 2,000 astronomers have converged in Texas this week to reveal the latest discoveries on the moon, Mars and other destinations across the solar system.

The gathering marks the start of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston, an annual conference to discuss new discoveries by scientists and unmanned spacecraft.

"This is the premiere conference for planetary scientists, and has been a significant focal point for planetary science research since its beginning in 1970, when it was known as the Apollo 11 Lunar Science Conference," officials with the Lunar and Planetary Institute of Houston said in a statement. The institute organizes the five-day conference each year.

NASA officials said the U.S. space agency's unmanned Mars and moon missions will be featured prominently in the conference this week. [Spacecraft Now Exploring Deep Space (Photo Gallery)]

"Presentations will include recent science findings from the rover Curiosity on Mars, and an update on NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter missions," NASA officials said in an announcement.

NASA will webcast two press conferences on Monday and Tuesday (March 18 and 19) to discuss the Curiosity rover's Mars discoveries and the Grail moon probes. Today's press conference begins at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) and will focus on the Curiosity rover, which has confirmed that Mars was habitable for microbial life in the ancient past. NASA unveiled that discovery last week.

You can watch the Curiosity press conference live on SPACE.com here, courtesy of NASA and the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Curiosity landed on Mars in August to begin a two-year primary mission to determine if Mars could have ever supported life. The rover accomplished that goal in just seven months, NASA officials said.

On Tuesday, NASA will hold another press conference at 1 p.m. EDT to discuss the Grail mission to map the moon's gravity. The two Grail spacecraft launched 2011 and orbited the moon together in order to measure the lunar gravitational field with unprecedented detail. The probes completed their mission last year, ending the expedition with spectacular back-to-back crashes into the lunar surface.

The conference will also include updates on the latest planetary science discoveries by scientists around the world, as well potential future missions to explore the solar system by NASA and other space agencies.

  • National NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: President condemns "barbaric murder" of David Haines

    UPDATE: President condemns "barbaric murder" of David Haines

    Saturday, September 13 2014 8:50 PM EDT2014-09-14 00:50:23 GMT
    BEIRUT - President Obama responded to the alleged beheading of British Aid worker David Haines Saturday. The President said in a statement, "The United States strongly condemns the barbaric murder of UK citizen David Haines," according to NBC News. New video claims to show the beheading of Haines by Islamic State group ISIS. Haines went missing in Syria last year.More >>
    BEIRUT - President Obama responded to the alleged beheading of British Aid worker David Haines Saturday. The President said in a statement, "The United States strongly condemns the barbaric murder of UK citizen David Haines," according to NBC News. New video claims to show the beheading of Haines by Islamic State group ISIS. Haines went missing in Syria last year.More >>
  • Women's colleges consider transgender applicants

    Women's colleges consider transgender applicants

    Wednesday, September 10 2014 6:31 PM EDT2014-09-10 22:31:35 GMT
    BOSTON (AP) - Women's colleges are revisiting policies around enrolling transgender students. Mills College in Oakland, California, recently became the first women's college to issue a written policy saying it would accept undergraduate applications from "self-identified women" in the coming academic year.More >>
    BOSTON (AP) - Women's colleges are revisiting policies around enrolling transgender students. Mills College in Oakland, California, recently became the first women's college to issue a written policy saying it would accept undergraduate applications from "self-identified women" in the coming academic year.More >>
  • Snoozing burglar busted by cops

    Snoozing burglar busted by cops

    Wednesday, September 10 2014 6:30 PM EDT2014-09-10 22:30:18 GMT
    NOKOMI, Fla. (AP) - Talk about a heavy sleeper. Police say an accused burglar stayed snoozing next to a bag of jewelry he was swiping from a home despite deputies snapping pictures of him.According to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, a cleaning lady discovered 29-year-old Dion Davis on a bed inside.....More >>
    NOKOMI, Fla. (AP) - Talk about a heavy sleeper. Police say an accused burglar stayed snoozing next to a bag of jewelry he was swiping from a home despite deputies snapping pictures of him.According to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, a cleaning lady discovered 29-year-old Dion Davis on a bed inside.....More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Liberty Lake residents concerned by leak

    Liberty Lake residents concerned by leak

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:24 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:24:12 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Liberty Lake residents who live along I-90 could only sit and wait for about 19 hours as agencies at a weigh station along I-90 worked to contain a chemical leak.Some of those residents told KHQ they weren't aware there'd been a leak that started around 1:30 Sunday afternoon until late that night when they turned on the news.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Liberty Lake residents who live along I-90 could only sit and wait for about 19 hours as agencies at a weigh station along I-90 worked to contain a chemical leak.Some of those residents told KHQ they weren't aware there'd been a leak that started around 1:30 Sunday afternoon until late that night when they turned on the news.More >>
  • Trucks with hazardous material common on I-90

    Trucks with hazardous material common on I-90

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:22:05 GMT
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - I-90 between Liberty Lake and Post Falls shut down for more about 19 hours while crews worked tirelessly on a chemical leak. Members with the Idaho State Police say situations like this don't happen very often, but trucks carrying hazardous material drive through Idaho and Washington everyday.More >>
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - I-90 between Liberty Lake and Post Falls shut down for more about 19 hours while crews worked tirelessly on a chemical leak. Members with the Idaho State Police say situations like this don't happen very often, but trucks carrying hazardous material drive through Idaho and Washington everyday.More >>
  • Kootenai County HAZMAT Crews say chemical leak in Idaho would be manageable

    Kootenai County HAZMAT Crews say chemical leak in Idaho would be manageable

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:09 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:09:17 GMT
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -  HAZMAT specialist Barry Sherman with Kootenai County Fire and Rescue points at an electronic device in a big orange box, he says it uses thermal imagery to identify gases and vapors."I may not know what the chemical is, but this will tell me if it's toxic or it's corrosive so then I know how to handle it," says Sherman.More >>
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -  HAZMAT specialist Barry Sherman with Kootenai County Fire and Rescue points at an electronic device in a big orange box, he says it uses thermal imagery to identify gases and vapors."I may not know what the chemical is, but this will tell me if it's toxic or it's corrosive so then I know how to handle it," says Sherman.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.