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About Dr. Bruce Betts
Dr. Bruce Betts is a planetary scientist who loves teaching people about planets, space, and the night sky in fun and entertaining ways. He has lots of college degrees, lots of big dogs, and two sons. Read on to learn more about his background and where to find him on social media and the Internet.
Bruce Betts is a planetary scientist, science communicator and educator, and manager. He is the Chief Scientist and LightSail Program Manager for the world’s largest space interest group, The Planetary Society. He has a B.S. (Physics and Math) and an M.S. (Applied Physics, emphasis Astronomy) from Stanford and a Ph.D. (Planetary Science, minor in Geology) from Caltech. His research there and at the Planetary Science Institute focused on infrared studies of planetary surfaces. He managed planetary instrument development programs at NASA Headquarters.
At The Planetary Society, he heads the Science and Technology and the Education and Outreach programs. He has managed several flight hardware projects, and led additional science and outreach projects. He is the Program Manager for the Society’s largest project: the LightSail solar sail spacecraft. He regularly writes for the member magazine The Planetary Report and his blog on planetary.org. His popular twitter feed @RandomSpaceFact and Facebook page (Dr. Bruce Betts) provides easy night sky astronomy and random space facts. His Random Space Fact video series (planetary.org/rsf) provides space facts mixed with humor and graphics. He also hosts the "What's Up?" feature on the weekly Planetary Radio (planetary.org/radio) show (100+ stations, XM/Sirius, podcast). He has been a guest expert on History Channel’s The Universe, is a frequent contributor to Professional Pilot magazine, and has appeared frequently in TV, print, web media, and public lectures. Dr. Betts is an Adjunct Professor with California State University Dominguez Hills and his Introduction to Astronomy and Planetary Science class, featuring lots of pretty space pictures, is available free online (planetary.org/bettsclass). He is an Alumnus Senior Scientist with Planetary Science Institute. His website is randomspacefact.com
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Blast off on an exploration of our solar system—a fun space book for kids 3 to 5
Get even the smallest astronomer excited for the big universe of space, from the bright and burning sun to our own blue Earth to ice-capped Pluto and every planet in between. With this book, kids will explore the entire solar system through incredible photos and fascinating facts on what makes each planet so special—like their size, distance from the sun, what the surface is like, how many moons they have, and more!
This planets for kids book includes:
- Big, beautiful images―Vibrant photos will take kids deep into space and onto each planet―no telescope required.
- Astronomy for kids―Learn all about the eight planets in our solar system, plus dwarf planets Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake.
- Fun space facts―Did you know the bubbles in soda are the same gas that’s on Venus? Out of this world facts will keep kids glued to the page and excited to explore the sky.
Show kids the amazing universe that surrounds them with this fun and engaging astronomy book.
Explore deep space and beyond
Get ready to take a thrilling journey to the farthest reaches of the universe. Space Exploration for Kids is loaded with out-of-this-world facts and eye-popping photographs that give you an inside look into the daily lives of astronauts. From learning the history of space exploration and rockets to what life is like up there, this top choice among space books for kids 6-9 will inspire you to reach for the stars.
Discover what it takes to become an astronaut in this informative selection in space books for kids 6-9. Included are sections about training, how space affects the human body, and the type of work they conduct. Learn about different types of crewed spacecraft, and find out how to design your own rocket ship! Your first step toward a rocket-fueled adventure begins right now.
This standout among space books for kids 6-9 includes:
- Reach for the stars—One of the most engaging space books for kids 6-9 takes you beyond the solar system and into deep space.
- Astronaut 101—From astronaut training to living in space, there’s a special focus on astronauts and space travel.
- Learn more!—A selection of bonus materials like sidebars, fun activities, and callouts make your learning experience even more fun.
Go beyond other space books for kids 6-9 with this informative book about the final frontier.
Ignite their passion for exploring the night sky―the astronomer's guidebook for kids ages 7 to 13
“No matter how many times you’ve orbited the Sun, Astronomy for Kids is really for kids of all ages. Dr. Betts shows you how to become an astronomer―an observer of the stars. With this book, you can know the cosmos and your place within it. Read on, walk out, and look up!”―Bill Nye, science educator, author, and CEO of The Planetary Society
One of the coolest things about outer space is that anyone can explore it. All you have to do is go outside and look up! Using plain sight, binoculars, or a small telescope, Astronomy for Kids shows stargazers how easy it is to explore space, just by stepping outside.
With this book as their guide to the northern hemisphere, kids will learn to find and name amazing objects in the night sky. Fully illustrated with fun facts throughout, kids can point out sights to friends and family, saying things like, “that’s Jupiter,” and, “those stars are the constellation Cygnus the Swan,” and maybe even, “that group of stars doesn’t have a name but I think it looks like my dog getting belly rubs.”
From the Milky Way Galaxy to Mars to the Moon’s craters and mountains―Astronomy for Kids helps young astronomers discover important parts of our solar system, with:
- 30 sights for the naked eye (yes, 30!) objects to see without any equipment, including Orion’s Belt, the Big Dipper, Mars, and even the International Space Station.
- 25 sights magnified with binoculars or a basic telescope to make objects in the sky easier to find and explore. Plus, buying tips and usage tricks to get the most out of astronomy equipment.
- Clear illustrations that show kids where to look and what they can expect to see.
Like all big things, outer space is something you have to see to believe. Astronomy for Kids teaches kids that planets, shooting stars, constellations, and meteor showers are not only in books―but right above them.
Discover a universe of fun and amazing facts about space for kids 6 to 9
Take an exciting, fact-filled journey that goes where all great space books for kids should―to our solar system and beyond! Super Cool Space Facts is bursting with info about stormy planets, exploding stars, weird black holes, amazing landers, and more.
Blast past other space books for kids with:
- Galaxies of wonder―Launch into learning with awesome and easy-to-digest facts about everything from asteroids hurtling through space to astronauts on the International Space Station.
- Entertaining information―Fill your outer space adventure with the jokes, big word alerts, and fascinating mysteries of the universe all space books for kids should have.
- Full-color photos―See how cool space is with incredible pictures of stars, galaxies, planets, constellations, and more.
Super Cool Space Facts brings you out-of-this-world fun―and a must have title for anyone interested in space books for kids.
Dr. Bruce Betts is a planetary scientist who earned a B.S. in Physics and Math and an M.S. in Applied Physics from Stanford and a Ph.D. in Planetary Science with a minor in Geology from Caltech. He spent several years with San Juan Institute/Planetary Science Institute as a Research Scientist, and later Senior Research Scientist. He studied planetary surfaces, including Mars, the Moon, and Jupiter's moons, using infrared and other data, and published several scientific papers on these subjects. He spent three years at NASA headquarters managing planetary instrument development programs to design spacecraft science instruments. He is currently the Chief Scientist and LightSail Program Manager for The Planetary Society, the world's largest space interest group.