Cosmic Conversation with Pascal Lee
“Cosmic Conversation” with Dr Pascal Lee, co-founder of the Mars Institute and a planetary scientist at the SETI Institute. We’ll chat about future human exploration sites on the Moon and Mars, the possibility of humans exploring Titan, and our chances of detecting another technological civilization in our Galaxy. Presented by the Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences.
International Observe the Moon Night with Seth Shostak
International Observe the Moon Night is an annual event in the fall near a first-quarter Moon. A first-quarter Moon offers excellent viewing opportunities along the terminator (the line between night and day), where shadows enhance the Moon’s cratered landscape. Everyone on Earth is invited to learn about lunar science and exploration, take part in celestial observations, and honor personal and cultural connections to the Moon. This year, IOMN is on Saturday, September 26, here in the United States. For more information, visit NASA's official IOMN website: http://moon.nasa.gov/observe and make sure you share your photos, videos, and artwork with us on social media. Tag us and use #ObserveTheMoon!
Sizing up aliens
How big or small are aliens? Would they tower over us, or cower in fear at our enormity? Maybe they're just like us after all. SETI Institute Senior Astronomer Seth Shostak weighs in.
Planet Orbits Stellar Corpse
Astronomers have detected a planet orbiting a white dwarf star named WD 1856+534 . If confirmed, the discovery shows that some planets could survive the destruction of their sun-like stars. SETI Institute Senior Astronomer Franck Marchis will sit down with Andrew Vanderburg, assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lead author on the paper published in Nature to talk about this remarkable discovery.
What Aliens Might Be Like
Co-hosted by the SETI Institute and Chabot Space & Science Center
With Seth Shostak, SETI Institute When most people think of aliens, they figure that they’re probably little gray guys with big eyes and no hair. And they never smile. After all, that’s what you see on TV and in the movies. But as scientists seek evidence of real aliens, do they have any idea of what they might find? Join us for an exciting talk with Seth Shostak to learn all about what aliens might be like! This event will be great for people of all ages, but especially families with kiddos 8-12 years old!
Cosmic Conversation with Katherine Bywaters
Friday’s Cosmic Conversation features Dr. Kathryn Bywaters from the SETI Institute. We’ll discuss searching for life beyond Earth… How do we know where to look? And how will we know if we find it? Tune in on Facebook Live Friday at 11:30 a.m. Pacific! Presented by the Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences.
Searching and Characterizing Exoplanets with CHEOPS, ARIEL, and PLATO
NASA’s Kepler mission and its successor TESS are not the only space telescopes dedicated to finding exoplanets. The European Space Agency (ESA) has embarked on the challenge of finding and characterizing those planets in orbit around stars other than our Sun. We’ll discuss several of these missions in this special SETI Talks with leading European-based astronomers. The CHEOPS mission (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) is the first of the newly created “S-class missions” (small class missions with an ESA budget of less than 50 million), and its goal is to characterize exoplanet transits. The mission recently reached a new milestone and has been declared ready for science. The space telescope targets stars known to have a transiting exoplanet and focuses on better characterizing Earth-like and super-Earth exoplanets. Willy Benz, Professor at the Physics Institute at the University of Bern and Principal Investigator of CHEOPS, will tell us about the mission and its goals. PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) is the third medium-class mission in ESA's Cosmic Vision program. Its objective is to find and study a large number of extrasolar planetary systems, with an emphasis on the properties of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone around solar-like stars. PLATO will carry out high precision, long (months to years), uninterrupted photometric monitoring of terrestrial exoplanets to characterize their bulk properties, including planets in Sun-like habitable zone stars. Heike Rauer, principal investigator of PLATO, will tell us how the mission could discover terrestrial exoplanets, some in the habitable zone of solar-type stars, and characterize them. Such analysis will pave the way for future missions that could one day image another Pale Blue Dot. ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey) aims to answer fundamental questions about how planetary systems form and evolve. ESA has selected it as its next medium-class science mission, due for launch in 2028. During its 4-year mission, ARIEL will observe more than 500 exoplanets ranging from Jupiter- and Neptune-size down to super-Earths in various environments. We invited Giovanna Tinetti, Head of the Astrophysics Group, UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy and Principal Investigator of ARIEL, to discuss this mission’s future goals and the technological challenges of building a mission capable of analyzing the light of exoplanets with transits. These researchers will tell us about their missions and what to expect in the coming years from the highly accurate, and multi-color, transiting light curves provided by those space telescopes. They'll also discuss ESA's future contributions in discovering and characterizing exoplanets to better understand the formation of planetary systems and enable planetary science far beyond the Solar System's boundaries.
SETI Live: Is there life on Venus?
Researchers from Cardiff University and MIT just published a paper in Nature in which they claim to have found phosphine, a possible biosignature, in the clouds of Venus' atmosphere. Join David Grinspoon, astrobiologist at the Planetary Science Institute who serves on the SETI Institute's Science Advisory Board, and Nathalie Cabrol, Director of the Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute, in a discussion about the possibility of life on Venus.
Did we find life on Venus?
Senior Planetary Astronomer Franck Marchis tells us the story of the search for life on Venus and the importance of today's discovery of a biomarker in the atmosphere of the planet. Could this indicate that Venus has an aerial biosphere? What are the consequences for the future exploration of the hellish sister of Earth?
Asteroid 2011 ES4: Lost and Found!
SETI Institute Senior Astronomer Franck Marchis tells us the story of 2011 ES4, a 30-meter asteroid which was supposed to give Earth a close shave on September 1. Nobody, including the citizen astronomers of the Unistellar network, saw it during that night, and we thought we had lost it for good. It’s only on September 5 that Pan-STARRS1 and other professional and amateur telescopes found it again several millions of kilometers away from its expected position. The good news is that we now know with those new observations that it will not impact Earth in the next 100 years. One less problem to think about!
SETI Institute and GNU Radio Join Forces
The SETI Institute and GNU Radio are officially joining forces to continue work already underway for signal processing at the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array. Join our discussion with Steve Croft (SETI Institute) and Derek Kozel (GNU Radio).
Art Imaginarium Challenge: First Contact
Institute co-founder Jill Tarter issues the September 2020 art challenge to our Art Imaginarium members: First Contact. The Art Imaginarium is a Facebook group dedicated to the space where art meets science. Why art? Science and art are more closely connected than people might expect, with each offering new perspectives and insights. We’re building a global artistic community where everyone feels safe in expressing themselves and exploring the limits of their imaginations. We hope that this will be a space where people respect both the art and the science. What is art? We do not want to constrain creativity. Want to write a song? Draw in pencil? Create digital art? Bake a cake? Use pasta and beans? Go for it. Each month, we provide members with a challenge theme. How they interpret that theme is entirely up to them. Join the challenge here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheArtImaginariumbySETI/
A Year of Exceptional Meteor Showers
If you like watching the skies for meteors, you will have noticed a spate of announcements of exceptional meteor showers this year. Some brief flurries of meteors from long-period comets, some more extended periods of activity of new showers from other comet types. SETI Institute meteor astronomer Peter Jenniskens talks with Beth Johnson about the growing global network of video security cameras that is providing alerts when unusual showers are being detected (http://cams.seti.org/FDL/). To read more about the CAMS global network, read Peter Jenniskens' article at:
Want to Search for ET for a Living?
If you're wondering what it takes to become a scientist whose job is to search for ET, SETI Institute Senior Astronomer, Seth Shostak has something to say about that.
TOI-849b: A Naked Gas Giant?
Join us for a discussion with David Armstrong, a researcher at the University of Warwick and Franck Marchis, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute on TOI-489b, the heaviest rocky planet ever observed. Wednesday, Aug 26 at 9am PT. Armstrong, lead author of an article published in Nature, will tell us about the possible origin of TOI-489b which might have been born as a standard hot Jupiter which lost somehow its gaseous envelope. This is a gift for astronomers since this bizarre planet offers them the chance to directly observe the core of a giant planet.
Cosmic Conversations with Franck Marchis
“Cosmic Conversation” Franck Marchis of the SETI Institute will discuss direct imaging of Earth-like exoplanets—perhaps even the exoplanet closest to us, orbiting Proxima Centauri! Hosted by Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences
A New Mission to Uranus?
A team of scientists, led by Dr. Richard Cartwright at the SETI Institute, are advocating for a mission to Uranus. The hope is that a mission can be designed over the next decade to take advantage of a gravity assist from Jupiter that is available only every few decades. Join Simon Steel in conversation with Richard Cartwright to learn more.
Astronomy in Space: From Hubble to Roman
Telescopes are placed into orbit around Earth or are sent farther out into space to get a clearer view of the universe. Thirty years ago, the U.S. launched the famous Hubble Space Telescope, whose unique design allowed astronauts to repair and upgrade it in space using advanced technology. It is one of the NASA’s longest-living and most valuable space-based observatories, beaming transformational astronomical images to Earth for decades. Hubble has fundamentally changed our understanding of the cosmos, and its story — filled with challenges overcome by innovation, determination, and the human spirit — inspires us. The newly named Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope – or Roman Space Telescope, (formerly known as WFIRST) – is set to launch in the mid-2020s. It will investigate long-standing astronomical mysteries, such as the force behind the universe’s expansion and search for distant planets beyond our solar system. The Roman Space Telescope project passed a critical programmatic and technical milestone in February, earning the official green light to begin hardware development and testing. We invited two scientists whose careers have been strongly connected with space telescopes to discuss the Hubble Space Telescope’s success and the potential of the upcoming Roman Space Telescope: Professor Meg Urry, Director of the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, studies the growth of supermassive black holes over cosmic time to understand their co-evolution with galaxies by using multiple space telescopes.
Dr. John Grunsfeld, an astrophysicist and astronaut went on three Space Shuttle flights to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope, including eight spacewalks. These scientists will discuss their contribution to the Hubble Space Telescope's scientific and technological endeavor and what they expect from the future Roman telescope and the future of NASA space telescopes at large. Molly Bentley, executive producer and co-host of the radio program and podcast, Big Picture Science, will moderate the talk. Once again, we are planning to hold this month’s SETI Talks online. Registration is required in order to receive the link and password; however, capacity is limited. Access will be on a first come first serve basis. Once the virtual room reaches capacity, we will not be able to accommodate more people. We apologize for this inconvenience, but have experienced large numbers of registrations for people who are unable to participate at the last minute, leaving others unable to register. As always, SETI Talks will be recorded and available to everyone after it takes place.
Perseverance: A Martian Rover to Find Life?
The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover successfully launched on July 30, 2020, is now en route toward Mars. The mission will pave the way for future human expeditions to Mars and demonstrates technologies that could be used by future Mars explorers.
FDL US Space Science and AI Showcase
Join the us LIVE for the FDL US Space Science & AI Showcase in partnership with NASA and the SETI Institute for a 2-hour celebration of the application of cutting edge AI in space science and exploration.