SETI Talks is a monthly public lecture series that showcases research relevant to astrobiology from prominent scientists, authors and experts from within the SETI Institute and beyond. Some recent topics featured include AI and space, Mars exploration, planetary protection, Cassini, ‘Oumuamua and the anthropocene.
SETI Talks are held at SRI International Headquarters in Menlo Park, CA, but they are also shared live, via Facebook, and recordings are posted to the SETI Talks YouTube channel
NASA’s Kepler space telescope was launched in 2009 and measured the brightness of 200,000 stars at unprecedented precision for over four years, with the prime mission goal of detecting Earth-sized exoplanets.
The last officially recognized epoch on Earth, the Holocene, began at the end of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. Now, climate change, and in particular humanity’s impact on climate change, has led to the suggestion that we are already in a new epoch, the Anthropocene.
The Alpha Centauri star system is ideal to search for habitable planets by various observing techniques due to its proximity and wide range of stellar masses.
Chance observations of stars as they pass behind planets have provided some of our most valuable data on the structure of planetary ring systems, beginning with the discovery of the uranian rings with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory in 1977.
Given the detection of several thousand extrasolar planets, a very interesting question is whether or not they have moons or rings. In the cases of extrasolar Jupiter analogs, the gas giant may not support life, but a moon could be suitable.
The all-sky TESS mission will soon revolutionize our view of planets transiting the nearest, brightest stars to the Sun, just as the four-year survey by NASA's Kepler mission transformed our understanding of exoplanet demographics.