- Associated Press - Monday, March 17, 2014

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - An anonymous donor has given the Planetary Society an astronomical gift.

The Pasadena-based space society founded by Carl Sagan announced Monday that it has received a $4.2 million donation - the largest single contribution in its history.

The donor is a member of the society.

CEO Bill Nye says the money will help the group with its technology, research, advocacy and education programs.

Those include tracking near-Earth objects; developing spacecraft that use solar sails for propulsion, and searching for intelligent life outside of the solar system.