Seeing Stars and Planets


It’s hot, too darn hot! And bright, too darn bright! But over-the-top photon flux doesn’t stop scientists from studying the sun. And solar eclipses are an ideal time for observing our favorite nuclear reactor. Discover what it was like to observe totality during the 2009 China solar eclipse.

Plus, how a star is born … the latest from the NASA Kepler mission to seek Earth-like planets … and, planet-hunter extraordinaire Mike Brown discovers the tenth planet: an icy body beyond Pluto.


  • Jay Pasachoff - Astronomer, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts
  • Betsy Barton - Astronomer, University of California, Irvine
  • Mike Brown - Planetary Astronomer, California Institute of Technology
  • Jon Jenkins - SETI Institute scientist with NASA’s Kepler Mission