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  • richardmitnick 1:59 pm on September 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Allen Telescope Array, , , ,   

    From SETI Institute: “Could We Really Find E.T?” 


    SETI Institute

    9.19.15

    By Seth Shostak, Director of the Center for SETI Research, and Nathalie Cabrol, Director of the Carl Sagan Center

    1
    Seth Shostak

    2
    Nathalie Cabrol

    Some recent articles in the press convey the impression that our current efforts to find intelligent life beyond Earth are unlikely to succeed simply because our technology is not advanced enough to sense alien signals.

    Of course, that’s not true. Consider the Allen Telescope Array[ATA], currently being used every day by the SETI Institute in its hunt for signals from other star systems.

    Allen Telescope Array
    ATA

    This instrument is exquisitely sensitive – it could find some of the powerful radars that we have here on Earth at a distance of dozens of light-years. Any society that is even slightly more technically advanced than our own could easily manage a deliberate radio transmission that the Array could pick up. For SETI researchers, it’s a matter of aiming our antennas in the right direction, and tuning to the correct spot on the dial.

    But could it be that our incomplete understanding of physics is keeping us from finding the extraterrestrials? Perhaps they don’t use radio, but have moved on to some hypothetical new communication mode. Of course that’s possible, but it’s at least as probable that radio and light are – and always will be – the most efficient method of sending bits of information from one star system to another.

    In any case, the possibility of “new physics” invalidating today’s SETI experiments is an indefensible reason to abandon the search. One might have pointed out to Columbus that wooden ships were a poor way to traverse an ocean, and he should just wait for aviation. But the wooden ships were good enough.

    Our SETI technology will, of course, improve with time. Nonetheless, the discovery of a signal betraying extraterrestrial intelligence could still happen today, tomorrow, or next week. But only if we search.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Mountain View, CA 94043
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  • richardmitnick 2:13 pm on January 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Allen Telescope Array, , ,   

    From SETI: “No Signals from Newest Kepler Planet” 


    SETI Institute

    Jan 7, 2015

    SETI Seth Shostak
    By Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer and Director of SETI Research

    A newly discovered planet has been observed with the Allen Telescope Array in a search for radio signals that would betray technically sophisticated inhabitants, but no transmissions have been detected.


    Allen Telescope Array at Hat Creek Observatory

    Allen Telescope Array
    Allen Telescope Array

    The planet is known as Kepler 116454b, and orbits an orange dwarf star in the constellation Pisces. It is 180 light-years away.

    Jon Richards, of the SETI Institute’s Center for SETI Research, used the Allen Telescope Array to look for signals over the frequency range of 1000 – 2250 MHz.

    In May, 2013 the Kepler space telescope suffered a mechanical failure that ended its ability to accurately aim at the sky. But the telescope has resumed its search for planets in a new mode, using the pressure of sunlight to help it steady its gaze on the sky. Kepler 116454b is the first planet to be found by the reincarnated telescope, and its discovery was announced just before Christmas.

    NASA Kepler Telescope
    Kepler

    The planet orbits its home star in 9 days in an orbit three times smaller than Mercury’s orbit around the Sun. Consequently, temperatures on this world – which is a so-called “super Earth” and larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune – are expected to be too hot for life as we know it.

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    Two renderings of possible super-Earths, with Earth itself to the right for comparison

    Nonetheless, and as centuries of experience have shown, observation sometimes trumps expectation, and that is why new exoplanets – whether they seem promising for life or not – are routinely observed by the SETI Institute with the Allen Telescope Array.

    The observations of Kepler 116454b will continue at higher frequencies, Richards notes.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    SETI Institute – 189 Bernardo Ave., Suite 100
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    Phone 650.961.6633 – Fax 650-961-7099
    Privacy PolicyQuestions and Comments

     
  • richardmitnick 6:02 am on July 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Allen Telescope Array, , ,   

    From SETI Institute: Meet Dr Jill Tarter 

    Jill Tarter is my candidate for Miss Universe.

    i1

    “Astronomer Dr. Jill Tarter is Director of the Institute’s Center for SETI Research, and also holder of the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). She is one of the few researchers to have devoted her career to hunting for signs of sentient beings elsewhere, and there are few aspects of this field that have not been affected by her work. Jill was the lead for Project Phoenix, a decade-long SETI scrutiny of about 750 nearby star systems, using telescopes in Australia, West Virginia and Puerto Rico. While no clearly extraterrestrial signal was found, this was the most comprehensive targeted search for artificially generated cosmic signals ever undertaken. Among her numerous distinguished awards and recognitions, Jill received the 2009 TED Prize, which will empower Jill and her team to take SETI research to an entirely new and broader level.

    Being as much of an icon of SETI as Jill is, perhaps it is not surprising that the Jodie Foster character in the movie Contact is largely inspired by this real-life researcher.”

    Now, the above is from Jill’s bio interview page at the SETI Institute web site. There is much more, so you should go there and read it.

    I went looking for more just plain facts. Usually, Wikipedia is a sure bet. Not this time. Short and sweet. Not even much of Jill’s CV. But, at SETI Institute, there is a really good listing of Jill’s accomplishments. Check it out.

    SETI Institute – 189 Bernardo Ave., Suite 100
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    Phone 650.961.6633 – Fax 650-961-7099
    Privacy PolicyQuestions and Comments

    Copyright © 2011, SETI Institute.
    Unless otherwise indicated, the documents and graphics stored on this Web server, http://www.seti.org, are copyrighted.
    Links to these documents are permitted and encouraged.
    No copies may be made without permission.

     
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