Penguin Speakers Bureau

Jim Bell

Award-winning Astronomer and Author of Postcards From Mars: The First Photographer on the Red Planet


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.

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More About This Speaker

Featured Book

Postcards from Mars

"For an armchair space traveler, here is a fantasy read."

– Dava Sobel, author of Longitude

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