Where in the Worlds has SETI Institute Been? July 23 - 29, 2017

Voyager Golden Record

The 40th anniversary of the Voyager Golden Record takes place in August. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are space probes launched in 1977. The original mission to explore Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune has been extended three times, and both probes are now exploring interstellar space, sending data and images back to Earth and expanding understanding of the Universe. Each probe carries a copy of the Golden Record, which includes sounds and images that portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. Frank Drake, who conducted the first-ever SETI experiment and is Chairman Emeritus of the SETI Institute Board of Trustees, was a member of the committee that determined what to include on the Golden Record. Another member of the committee was Carl Sagan.

Ross 128 – No Aliens Detected, Yet

Ross 128, a red dwarf star, caused a lot of excitement back in May. The mystery has now been solved, indicating that strange signals detected at the Arecibo telescope were likely due to transmissions from Earth satellites. The SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array (ATA) observed Ross 128 for 16 hours and detected no evidence for a signal originating from the star system. The Greenbank Telescope and Arecibo also conducted additional observations.

SETI Institute-Unistellar Partnership on Networked eVsope

The SETI Institute and French startup Unistellar announced a partnership to commercialize a new telescope. This new type of telescope that delivers an image not previously available to amateur astronomers, that can identify the object they are observing, and that enables them to participate in observing campaigns and share the data with researchers.

Making Contact: A Book About Jill Tarter’s Life and Work by Sarah Scoles

Making Contact, a book written by Sarah Scoles about the life and work of the SETI Institute’s Jill Tarter was released on July 4. Jill is one of the founders of the SETI Institute and currently holds the Bernard M. Oliver Chair at the SETI Institute. One the biggest challenges faced by Jill, other SETI researchers and the SETI Institute has been in trying to get SETI research funded, a challenge that is ongoing.

Facebook Live

In last week’s Facebook Live, SETI Institute President and CEO Bill Diamond talked two teams from this summer’s NASA Frontier Development Lab (FDL) which is hosted by the SETI Institute. The two teams were Radar 3D Shape Modeling and Long Period Comets.

All SETI Institute Facebook Live videos can be found on our Facebook page.

Big Picture Science

Last week, What Goes Around explored recycling and more. This week, the encore presentation of Caught in a Traps talks earthquakes, volcanoes and more.

Events

California Academy of Sciences Astronomy Lectures: September 11, San Francisco, CA Matt Tiscareno will about the end of the Cassini mission and the science of its grand finale.

StarTalk Radio, September 16-17, Seth Shostak will guest host this Neil deGrasse Tyson radio program that explores science, pop culture and comedy.

Carl Sagan Center Activity Report June 2017

activity report June 2017

The Carl Sagan Center Activity Report for June 2017 is out and can be downloaded here. Here are some highlights:

  • Dale Andersen co-authored a paper that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Microbiological Methods, ‘Comparison of two bioinformatics tools used to characterize the microbial diversity and predictive functional attributes of microbial mats from Lake Obersee, Antarctica’
  • Susan Thompson was lead author of the catalog study for the Kepler survey mission
  • SETI Institute scientists participated in conferences and events including the 4th Kepler/K2 Science Conference; the 3rd Planetary Data Workshop; Starmus Festival IV: Life and the Universe; and the AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy Meeting
  • Facebook Live events featured Kathryn Bywaters, Margaret Race, Susan Thompson, and Jeff Coughlin
  • Lori Fenton curated the geoscience Twitter account @GeoSciTweeps for the week of June 26-July2
  • Seth Shostak was interviewed by numerous print and broadcast news outlets including NBC News, KGO Radio San Francisco, Science Fantastic, and KQED
  • Matt Tiscareno has been participating in the production of numerous documentaries about Cassini
  • Jill Tarter, Jon Richards and Gerry Harp to participants of the Machine Learning for SETI hackathon held June 10-11