Deep Space

Deep Space

For many Philadelphians, Derrick Pitts is The Franklin Institute. Since 1978, Derrick has been teaching us to look up—and to wonder about what we see up there.

We all know that Derrick is an excellent “teacher.” What’s made him famous in Philadelphia is his ability to help everyone appreciate the universe as he sees it—not a watered-down sketch of the universe, but a rich, deep, complex version with human connections that everyone can understand at some level.

Derrick is currently the Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium at The Franklin Institute. He’s also been a NASA Solar System Ambassador since 2009 and serves as the “Astrobiology Ambassador” for the NASA/MIRS/UNCF Special Program Corporation’s Astrobiology Partnership Program. One of his newest honors is an appointment to the outreach advisory board for the world’s largest telescope, the new Thirty-Meter-Telescope at Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

Kids Corner host Kathy O'Connell chats with Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia about the upcoming Solar Eclipse over America, August 21 - you can listen to this chat below - and even click to DOWNLOAD it to listen later or share with your friends!



Astronaut Scott Kelly spent a year in space - and Derrick shares just how hard it's been for his body to adjust to living back on Earth. 


Our Sky Guy, Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts helps us all understand the realities on intelligent life in space - the myths and the possibilities! 

Our Sky Guy Derrick Pitts explains how springtime season is also the start of Observation Season! His chat with Kathy is in two parts - first up, part one!


And now, part two....

Thinking of getting a telescope for the holidays? Before you do - listen to Derrick as he offers tips and ideas for that space-fan in your world! 

From solar flares to space junk - our astronomer Derrick Pitts of the Franklin Institute explores it all! Learn just what is space junk!

Derrick continues to talk all about the great red planet MARS! This is part two of two parts.

Astronomer Derrick Pitts talks all about the great red planet MARS! This is part one of two parts.

Derrick Pitts talks with Kathy about the differences and the similarities between meteors and comets.

Derrick Pitts talks with Kathy about the dwarf planet Pluto and what we know about our distant neighbor in our solar system.