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Jim Bell

Award-winning astronomer and author of Postcards From Mars and The Interstellar Age

  • About Jim Bell

    Jim Bell is a Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University in Tempe and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He is a prolific author and commentator on astronomy and space exploration, and he has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CNN’s This American Morning, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, PBS’s NewsHour, as well as on NPR’s Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Science Friday, and other radio shows. He is President of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest public space advocacy organization, and he blogs regularly for The Planetary Society, The Huffington Post Science, and other outlets.

    Jim is an active astronomy and planetary science researcher and educator involved in many recent NASA robotic space mission projects. He is the recipient of a dozen NASA Group Achievement awards, was the 2011 recipient of the American Astronomical Society’s Carl Sagan Medal for excellence in public communication of planetary science, and the International Astronomical Union has named the asteroid “8146 Jimbell” in his honor. He enjoys giving exciting and visually-rich public talks about space exploration to groups and organizations around the world.

  • Speaking Topics

    Postcards from Mars

    The inside story of the amazingly successful NASA Spirit and Opportunity rover missions to the Red Planet, based on Jim's recent book of the same name, published by Penguin/Dutton. The presentation also includes a preview of and initial results from NASA's newest Mars rover, Curiosity, scheduled to land in August 2012.

    Studying the Solar System in 3D

    A tour of the planets, moons, asteroids, and comets around us using red/blue glasses, based on Jim's hit books Mars-3D and Moon-3D.

    Searching for Life in the Solar System and Beyond

    Focusing on NASA's recent discoveries about potential habitable environments on Mars, Europa, other solar system destinations, and even on newly-discovered planets around other nearby stars.


    Focusing on the threat from rogue asteroids and comets that could impact our planet, and what planetary scientists and space agencies like NASA are doing to mitigate that threat.

    Categories: Science Speakers
  • Praise for Jim Bell

    Praise for The Interstellar Age

    The Interstellar Age is dawning and this book recounts the saga of humanity’s greatest solar system exploration on the way out. Part scientific autobiography, part top-notch science writing, Jim Bell’s book is a welcome addition to the history of the Voyager Missions.

    Jon Lomberg, space artist, science journalist, and co-creator of the Voyager Interstellar Record

    Come along with Dr. Bell on an extraordinary adventure….These voyages changed what we know of the cosmos and our place within it. Jim Bell’s story will change you, too.

    Bill Nye, CEO, the Planetary Society

    In The Interstellar Age Professor Jim Bell celebrates Voyager—NASA’s most famous space probe. In this task, Bell not only shines as a leading planetary scientist, you get the sneaky feeling he knew the probe personally, serving in this case as Voyager’s personal biographer to the benefit of us all.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, author of Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

    A lucid account of the magnificent scientific accomplishments of the Voyager Missions with a cheerfulness that it deserves.

    Publishers Weekly

    Part memoir, part anecdotal history and part sermon on the delights of science, The Interstellar Age is a captivating read.


    Is there any intelligent life out there in the cosmos? And if so, are they into Chuck Berry? Thanks to the Voyager space probes, launched in 1977, we may find out.

    New York Post

    Comprehensive and engrossing…charming.

    The Wall Street Journal
  • Books by Jim Bell

  • Media About Jim Bell

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  • 212 572-2013
  • Jim Bell travels from Phoenix, AZ

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