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  • richardmitnick 12:55 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI Institute   

    From Breakthrough Listen Project via EarthSky: “Breakthrough Listen and TESS team up for SETI” 

    From Breakthrough Listen Project

    via

    1

    EarthSky

    November 3, 2019
    Paul Scott Anderson

    Will we ever hear from an alien civilization? Will we hear from one in our lifetimes? Now 2 powerhouses in the world of astronomy have teamed up to optimize the chances of a successful search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

    1
    Image via Breakthrough Listen/Danielle Futselaar/SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute.

    In recent decades, missions to planets and moons in our solar system have been alert for signs of microbial life. Astronomers have found thousands of exoplanets, or worlds orbiting distant suns. There’ve been the traditional searches for intelligent radio signals (SETI), now including searches for light signals (optical SETI). Scientists now speak of technosignatures – signs of advanced technologies – as distinct from biosignatures. Late last month, two major programs announced they’re joining forces in the search for intelligent life elsewhere in our galaxy. Breakthrough Listen, part of Breakthrough Initiatives, has announced it will collaborate with NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission.

    NASA/MIT TESS replaced Kepler in search for exoplanets

    Breakthrough Listen has $100 million in funding and is using thousands of hours of dedicated telescope time on state-of-the-art earthly facilities – targeting a million nearby stars and the centers of 100 galaxies – in its search for technosignatures. TESS, meanwhile, uses a novel highly-elliptical orbit around Earth (at its farthest from us, it’s as far as the moon) in its task of seeking – and finding – new exoplanets, including smaller, rocky worlds like Earth.

    The new initiative was announced at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Washington, D.C., on October 23, 2019. It’ll be led by TESS Deputy Science Director Sara Seager, S. Pete Worden, Executive Director of Breakthrough Initiatives and Andrew Siemion, leader of the Breakthrough Listen science team.

    The collaboration will allow Breakthrough Listen to focus on more specific targets, rocky planets like Earth that may be habitable. Using data from TESS, it is estimated that over 1,000 new “objects of interest” will be added to Breakthrough Listen’s target list. The project will use a wide range of telescopes, including Green Bank, Parkes Telescopes, MeerKAT2, Automated Planet Finder, VERITAS4, NenuFAR, FAST5, Murchison Widefield Array, LOFAR stations in Ireland and Sweden, Jodrell Bank Observatory, e-MERLIN6, Keck Observatory, Sardinia Radio Telescope and Allen Telescope Array7. Worden said:

    “It’s exciting that the world’s most powerful SETI search, with our partner facilities across the globe, will be collaborating with the TESS team and our most capable planet-hunting machine. We’re looking forward to working together as we try to answer one of the most profound questions about our place in the Universe: Are we alone?”

    TESS is the planet-hunting successor to the Kepler Space Telescope.

    NASA/Kepler Telescope, and K2 March 7, 2009 until November 15, 2018

    Like Kepler, it finds planets by detecting their transits in front of their stars.

    Planet transit. NASA/Ames

    While Kepler focused on distant stars in certain patches of the sky, TESS looks at stars much closer to us, over about 85% of the sky – 400 times more than Kepler – with a prime focus on rocky worlds similar to Earth in size and mass. TESS was launched in April 2018, and has four wide-field cameras, each monitoring a region of sky 24 degrees across (about the width of your hand held at arm’s length). Light curves – how the brightness of stars changes over time – for 20,000 stars are measured every two minutes, and the brightness of every pixel in the cameras is recorded every 30 minutes.

    Over 4,000 exoplanets have been confirmed so far in the past three decades, with many of those coming from Kepler. But TESS is now already quickly adding to that list, and is predicted to find at least 10,000 new exoplanets. Overall, scientists now estimate there are billions of planets in our galaxy alone!

    TESS has a unique advantage in working together with Breakthrough Listen. All the planetary systems it discovers will be edge-on as viewed from Earth. The majority of radio signal leakage on Earth – about 70% – comes from the plane of Earth’s orbit. If an alien civilization had transmitters emitting radio signals in a similar manner, the best chance of detecting them is to view the planetary systems edge-on.

    This, of course, has only to do with radio signals. As many scientists now suggest, there are other possibilities for detecting signs of an advanced alien civilization. If such a civilization was much further ahead technologically than us, it might not use radio at all anymore. Both Breakthrough Listen and TESS are capable of finding other kinds of anomalies as well, such as megastructures in orbit around a planet or star, perhaps resembling a Dyson sphere.

    6
    Artist’s concept of a Dyson sphere, a hypothetical construction around a star to harness the star’s energy. This is one type of technosignature that could be detected by the new Breakthrough Listen/TESS project. Image via SentientDevelopments.com.

    Boyajian’s Star – aka Tabby’s Star – is a good example of a star exhibiting weird, potentially alien-related behavior, as Siemion noted:

    “The discovery by the Kepler spacecraft of Boyajian’s Star, an object with wild, and apparently random, variations in its light curve, sparked great excitement and a range of possible explanations, of which megastructures were just one.

    3
    Theories about Tabby’s Star have ranged from comets to alien megastructures. Could the explanation really be an evaporating exomoon? Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/Sky & Telescope.

    Follow-up observations have suggested that dust particles in orbit around the star are responsible for the dimming, but studies of anomalies like this are expanding our knowledge of astrophysics, as well as casting a wider net in the search for technosignatures.”

    For those of us hoping to find evidence of intelligent alien life, this new collaboration is exciting. It will help to better refine search efforts as we learn more about which planetary systems would be the best to focus on instead of the more random kinds of searches done in the past. TESS, and other future planet-hunting telescopes, will be invaluable in determining which exoplanets in our galaxy are the most likely to be habitable, allowing Breakthrough Listen and other SETI-type searches to focus more on such worlds as possible homes for alien intelligence. In Seager’s words:

    “We are very enthusiastic about joining the Breakthrough Listen SETI search. Out of all the exoplanet endeavors only SETI holds the promise for identifying signs of intelligent life.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Listen

    Breakthrough Listen is the largest ever scientific research program aimed at finding evidence of civilizations beyond Earth. The scope and power of the search are on an unprecedented scale:

    The program includes a survey of the 1,000,000 closest stars to Earth. It scans the center of our galaxy and the entire galactic plane. Beyond the Milky Way, it listens for messages from the 100 closest galaxies to ours.

    The instruments used are among the world’s most powerful. They are 50 times more sensitive than existing telescopes dedicated to the search for intelligence.

    These are among the astronomical resources imvolved with Breakthrough Listen

    CSIRO/Parkes Observatory, located 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia

    UC Observatories Lick Autmated Planet Finder, fully robotic 2.4-meter optical telescope at Lick Observatory, situated on the summit of Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, California, USA



    GBO radio telescope, Green Bank, West Virginia, USA

    SKA SARAO Meerkat telescope(s), 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon, SA

    CfA/VERITAS, a major ground-based gamma-ray observatory with an array of four 12m optical reflectors for gamma-ray astronomy in the GeV – TeV energy range. Located at Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory,Mount Hopkins, Arizona, US in AZ, USA, Altitude 2,606 m (8,550 ft)

    French NenuFAR Radio telescope

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)

    SKA LOFAR core (“superterp”) near Exloo, Netherlands

    LOFAR Sweden Radio Telescope

    Jodrell Bank Lovell Telescope

    SETI/Allen Telescope Array situated at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, 290 miles (470 km) northeast of San Francisco, California, USA, Altitude 986 m (3,235 ft)

    The radio surveys cover 10 times more of the sky than previous programs. They also cover at least 5 times more of the radio spectrum – and do it 100 times faster. They are sensitive enough to hear a common aircraft radar transmitting to us from any of the 1000 nearest stars.

    We are also carrying out the deepest and broadest ever search for optical laser transmissions. These spectroscopic searches are 1000 times more effective at finding laser signals than ordinary visible light surveys. They could detect a 100 watt laser (the energy of a normal household bulb) from 25 trillion miles away.

    Listen combines these instruments with innovative software and data analysis techniques.

    The initiative will span 10 years and commit a total of $100,000,000.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:49 pm on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA Frontier Development Lab Uses Deep Learning to Monitor the Sun’s Ultraviolet Emission", , , SETI Institute,   

    From SETI Institute: “NASA Frontier Development Lab Uses Deep Learning to Monitor the Sun’s Ultraviolet Emission” 

    SETI Logo new
    From SETI Institute

    Oct 2, 2019
    James Parr
    FDL Executive Producer
    Frontier Development Lab
    james@frontierdevelopmentlab.org
    http://www.frontierdevelopmentlab.org

    Rebecca McDonald
    Director of Communications
    SETI Institute
    189 Bernardo Ave., Suite 200
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    rmcdonald@seti.org
    http://www.seti.org

    1
    EVE MEGS-A Spectrum

    A NASA Frontier Development Lab (FDL) team has shown that by using deep learning, it is possible to virtually monitor the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet (EUV) irradiance, which is a key driver of space weather. The Sun is vital for survival, but solar flares, which typically occur a few times a year, have the potential to cause severe disruptions in space and on Earth. These disruptions can impact spacecraft, satellites and even systems here on Earth, including GPS navigation, radio communications and the power grid. Deep learning can help get more value out of our current ability to monitor the Sun by providing virtual instruments to supplement physical devices. This research is published in Science Advances on October 2, 2019.

    “Our research shows how a deep neural network can be trained to mimic an instrument on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO),” said FDL team member and co-author Alexander Szenicer (Oxford University).

    NASA/SDO

    “By inferring what ultraviolet radiation levels that sensor would have detected based on what the other instruments on SDO are observing at any given time, we demonstrate it is possible to increase scientific productivity of NASA missions and to increase our capability to monitor solar sources of space weather.”

    “Our research shows how a deep neural network can be trained to mimic an instrument on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO),” said FDL team member and co-author Alexander Szenicer (Oxford University). “By inferring what ultraviolet radiation levels that sensor would have detected based on what the other instruments on SDO are observing at any given time, we demonstrate it is possible to increase scientific productivity of NASA missions and to increase our capability to monitor solar sources of space weather.”

    FDL is a partnership between NASA Ames Research Center, the SETI Institute and private sector and space agency partners including Google Cloud, Intel AI, IBM, Kx Lockheed Martin, Luxembourg Space Agency, NVIDIA, Canadian Space Agency, HPE and Element AI. During an 8-week summer research accelerator, interdisciplinary teams comprised of early-career researchers in AI and natural science domains work together to apply AI and machine learning to address important challenge questions. The challenge question behind this research was to develop an AI model using SDO images to predict solar spectral irradiance.

    Traditionally, methods for monitoring solar EUV spectral irradiance include physics-inspired models that attempt to predict EUV emission. Such methods use either magnetic field distributions on the Sun’s surface or physics-based inversions of the plasma distribution in the Sun’s corona.

    These new results show it is possible to use imaging observations of the Sun to create a proxy measurement of EUV spectral irradiance. Feeding coronal images from NASA’s SDO to a deep neural network allows us to generate proxy EUV measurements with an accuracy that surpasses physics-based models.

    Additionally, the team developed benchmarks and protocols for comparing predictions between EUV models. These will be useful for future studies. Thus far, research has barely scratched the surface on what’s feasible by combining deep learning with large-scale scientific space data. Data science and machine learning will play increasingly important roles in our endeavor to understand the origins of space weather and how to live with the Sun.

    The lead authors on the paper are Szenicer and David Fouhey (University of Michigan). Co-authors and FDL team members are Richard Galvez (New York University), Rajat Thomas (University of Amsterdam) and Paul Wright (Stanford University). Co-authors and team mentors are Meng Jin (SETI Institute), Mark Cheung (Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory) and Andrés Muñoz-Jamarillo (Southwest Research Institute).

    About the NASA Frontier Development Lab (FDL)
    Hosted in Silicon Valley by the SETI Institute, NASA FDL is an applied artificial intelligence research accelerator developed in partnership with NASA’s Ames Research Center. Founded in 2016, the NASA FDL aims to use AI technologies to challenges in space exploration by pairing machine learning expertise with space science and exploration researchers from academia and industry. These interdisciplinary teams address tightly defined problems and the format encourages rapid iteration and prototyping to create outputs with meaningful application to the space program and humanity.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SETI Institute


    About the SETI Institute

    What is life? How does it begin? Are we alone? These are some of the questions we ask in our quest to learn about and share the wonders of the universe. At the SETI Institute we have a passion for discovery and for passing knowledge along as scientific ambassadors.

    The SETI Institute is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit scientific research institute headquartered in Mountain View, California. We are a key research contractor to NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and we collaborate with industry partners throughout Silicon Valley and beyond.

    Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute employs more than 130 scientists, educators, and administrative staff. Work at the SETI Institute is anchored by three centers: the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe (research), the Center for Education and the Center for Outreach.

    The SETI Institute welcomes philanthropic support from individuals, private foundations, corporations and other groups to support our education and outreach initiatives, as well as unfunded scientific research and fieldwork.

    A Special Thank You to SETI Institute Partners and Collaborators
    • Campoalto, Chile, NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Headquarters, National Science Foundation, Aerojet Rocketdyne,SRI International

    Frontier Development Lab Partners
    • Breakthrough Prize Foundation, European Space Agency, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, KBRwyle. Kx Lockheed Martin, NASA Ames Research Center, Nvidia, SpaceResources Luxembourg, XPrize

    In-kind Service Providers
    • Gunderson Dettmer – General legal services, Hello Pilgrim – Website Design and Development Steptoe & Johnson – IP legal services, Danielle Futselaar

    SETI/Allen Telescope Array situated at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, 290 miles (470 km) northeast of San Francisco, California, USA, Altitude 986 m (3,235 ft)

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

    Also in the hunt, but not a part of the SETI Institute


    SETI@home, a BOINC project originated in the Space Science Lab at UC Berkeley

    BOINCLarge

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:06 am on August 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "InVADER Project to send a Robotic Laser to Explore Deep Sea Vents", , “These measurements will help us determine new strategies to study life in Earth’s oceans and refine methods for how we might study habitable vent systems on ocean worlds like Europa or Enceladus , , , InVADER features the first long-term-resident real-time combined imaging and spectroscopy payload for underwater sensing., , Our project offers unprecedented opportunities to bridge studies of Earth’s oceans and mission concepts to explore oceans in our Solar System., SETI Institute, Their project will transform the technological and operational arsenal available for future Ocean World exploration., With InVADER we bring next-generation space exploration tools 1500 meters below the ocean surface.   

    From SETI Institute: “InVADER Project to send a Robotic Laser to Explore Deep Sea Vents” 

    SETI Logo new
    From SETI Institute

    Aug 8, 2019

    Rebecca McDonald

    Director of Communications
    SETI Institute
    189 Bernardo Ave., Suite 200
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    rmcdonald@seti.org
    http://www.seti.org

    1
    Image Credit: D. Kelley, University of Washington/NSF-OOI/WHOI

    Pablo Sobron, a SETI Institute physicist, and Laurie Barge, a NASA JPL research scientist, are the recipients of a NASA Planetary Science and Technology from Analog Research (PSTAR) grant to study underwater hydrothermal systems at Axial Seamount, the largest and most active volcano on the western boundary of the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate. Their project, known as InVADER (In-situ Vent Analysis Divebot for Exobiology Research), will transform the technological and operational arsenal available for future Ocean World exploration. The InVADER team, which consists of scientists and engineers from other institutions in the United States and Great Britain, will broaden the scientific knowledge and techniques available to ocean sciences today.

    “With InVADER, we bring next-generation space exploration tools 1500 meters below the ocean surface,” said Sobron. “This way, our project offers unprecedented opportunities to bridge studies of Earth’s oceans and mission concepts to explore oceans in our Solar System.” InVADER integrates an innovative science payload into a deep ocean platform. The overarching mission is to advance technologies for autonomous sampling and real-time sensing. To accomplish its goal, InVADER features the first long-term-resident, real-time, combined imaging and spectroscopy payload for underwater sensing. InVADER will take daily measurements for 12 months. The data collected will provide a greater understanding of geochemical dynamics across time and also allow active investigation of microbial metabolisms in hydrothermal environments.

    By being resident on-site at the vent, InVADER will capture transient events and provide unprecedented spatial and temporal access to a deep ocean hydrothermal system. This data will determine relevant gradients in vent systems; composition and mineralogy of hydrothermal chimneys and associated precipitates; relevant small-scale features that are indicators of vent geochemistry and/or habitability; and the presence and distribution of organics.

    The team will also bring back samples of local fluids and minerals to be analyzed in the lab. Analysis will enable the team to characterize the mineralogy, hydrothermal fluid compositions, and geological context of the samples. “Together, these measurements will help us determine new strategies to study life in Earth’s oceans and refine methods for how we might study habitable vent systems on ocean worlds like Europa or Enceladus in the future” explained Barge.

    The InVADER project is a compelling example of a public/private, multi-institute partnership with a dynamic team that includes:

    Pablo Sobron (SETI Institute and Impossible Sensing)
    Anuscheh Nawaz, Justin Burnett, Deborah Kelley, Aaron Marburg and Dana Manalang (University of Washington)
    Laurie Barge, Renaud Detry and Ninos Hermis (JPL)
    Blair Thorton (University of Southhampton, UK)
    Anupam Misra and Tayro Acosta (University of Hawaii)
    Jan Amend (University of Southern California)
    Kris Zacny, Fredrik Rehnmark and David Yu (Honeybee Robotics)
    Roy Price (SUNY Stony Brook University)
    Marianne Smith (Citrus College)

    “InVADER brings together an exceptionally qualified team of senior and junior scientists, engineers, and students including student interns from the community college,” said Sobron. “The team will leverage NASA and National Science Foundation (NSF) investments – the NSF funds and the University of Washington operates and manages the Regional Cabled Array where InVADER will be deployed – to further technological advances that will enhance our scientific understanding of oceans on Earth and beyond.”

    Follow the mission online at https://invader-mission.org

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SETI Institute


    About the SETI Institute

    What is life? How does it begin? Are we alone? These are some of the questions we ask in our quest to learn about and share the wonders of the universe. At the SETI Institute we have a passion for discovery and for passing knowledge along as scientific ambassadors.

    The SETI Institute is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit scientific research institute headquartered in Mountain View, California. We are a key research contractor to NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and we collaborate with industry partners throughout Silicon Valley and beyond.

    Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute employs more than 130 scientists, educators, and administrative staff. Work at the SETI Institute is anchored by three centers: the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe (research), the Center for Education and the Center for Outreach.

    The SETI Institute welcomes philanthropic support from individuals, private foundations, corporations and other groups to support our education and outreach initiatives, as well as unfunded scientific research and fieldwork.

    A Special Thank You to SETI Institute Partners and Collaborators
    • Campoalto, Chile, NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Headquarters, National Science Foundation, Aerojet Rocketdyne,SRI International

    Frontier Development Lab Partners
    • Breakthrough Prize Foundation, European Space Agency, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, KBRwyle. Kx Lockheed Martin, NASA Ames Research Center, Nvidia, SpaceResources Luxembourg, XPrize

    In-kind Service Providers
    • Gunderson Dettmer – General legal services, Hello Pilgrim – Website Design and Development Steptoe & Johnson – IP legal services, Danielle Futselaar

    SETI/Allen Telescope Array situated at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, 290 miles (470 km) northeast of San Francisco, California, USA, Altitude 986 m (3,235 ft)

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

    Also in the hunt, but not a part of the SETI Institute


    SETI@home, a BOINC project originated in the Space Science Lab at UC Berkeley

    BOINCLarge

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:35 am on August 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Lava Tubes and the Lunar Underground, Search for Laser Signals May Reveal Extraterrestrial Technology, SETI Institute   

    From SETI Institute: “SETI Institute in the news July 25 – July 31, 2019” 

    SETI Logo new
    From SETI Institute

    1
    Lava Tubes and the Lunar Underground
    _______________________________________________

    Just landing on the moon is tricky. Humans will need to make the most of the moon’s resources, such as water ice if they plan to live there. Skylights on the lunar surface – small pits possibly connected to lava tubes – might provide with access to water ice, and also offer protection from harsh temperature swings and radiation. Pascal Lee, a planetary scientist at the SETI Institute and the Mars Institute, identified the lunar skylights in 2018 based on analysis of imaging data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

    Some researchers hope the skylights indicate interconnected tubes, though Lee noted in a Space.com article, “not all pits on the moon are necessarily lava tube skylight… [and] not all lava tubes in a given region should be expected to be interconnected.” Further:

    “We don’t know how rough lava tubes on the moon might be, but the term underground roadway seems optimistic,” Lee said. “In any case, in my view, it’s not that pits on the moon would lead to a maze of underground corridors that makes them most interesting—although that is fascinating—but the fact that they give access to an environment that’s radically different from the surface, whatever shape that underground environment might have.”

    More information is needed to assess the underground cavities on the moon entirely. Lee has led efforts to map lava tubes and ice caves on Earth using drones capable of autonomous navigation. His goal is to develop future systems for surveying similar structures on the Moon and Mars.

    Space.com: Living Underground on the Moon: How Lava Tubes Could Aid Lunar Colonization
    SETI.org: Possible Lava Tube Skylights Discovered Near the North Pole of the Moon

    .2
    Search for Laser Signals May Reveal Extraterrestrial Technology
    _______________________________________________________________________

    While radio signal searches have been a staple of modern SETI research, the new frontier of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence involves searching for optical signals. Brief and powerful laser flashes might conceivably be used for interstellar communications, as SETI Institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak explained to Inverse:

    “You can send even more bits per second on a light beam than on a radio beam. It’s just because it’s at higher frequency. So that’s just all pretty straightforward physics, but I think that the point has been in the past that it was difficult to produce a light source that was intense enough to actually generate the signal that could be easily detected.”

    Breakthrough Listen is a scientific research project to search for intelligent extraterrestrial communications in the Universe.

    Breakthrough Listen Project

    1

    UC Observatories Lick Autmated Planet Finder, fully robotic 2.4-meter optical telescope at Lick Observatory, situated on the summit of Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, California, USA




    GBO radio telescope, Green Bank, West Virginia, USA


    CSIRO/Parkes Observatory, located 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia


    SKA Meerkat telescope, 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon, SA

    Newly added

    CfA/VERITAS, a major ground-based gamma-ray observatory with an array of four 12m optical reflectors for gamma-ray astronomy in the GeV – TeV energy range. Located at Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, Mount Hopkins, Arizona, US in AZ, USA, Altitude 2,606 m (8,550 ft)

    Together with the VERITAS Collaboration (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System), Breakthrough Listen recently announced a new partnership to enhance the search for optical technosignatures. Andrew Siemion leads the Breakthrough Listen team at U.C. Berkeley and holds the Bernard M. Oliver Chair of SETI Research at the SETI Institute. He explained to Forbes why extraterrestrials might use laser technology for communication:

    “Optical communication has already been used by NASA to transmit high definition images to Earth from the Moon, so there’s reason to believe that an advanced civilization might use a scaled-up version of this technology for interstellar communication.”

    While the potential of optical SETI searches is exciting, Shostak warned Inverse that we shouldn’t abandon radio searches just yet:

    “Typically a radio antenna will have a much broader beam. It’ll be sending that signal to a much bigger patch on the sky than a laser transmitter, which might only target one star system at a time. So there’s somewhat greater hope that you might be in the beam of a radio signal than in the beam of a laser.”

    Inverse: Aliens Might Use High-Powered Lasers to Let Us Know Where They Are
    Forbes: Hunt For ‘Alien Laser Flashes’ Underpins New Search For Intelligent Life In The Universe

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SETI Institute


    About the SETI Institute

    What is life? How does it begin? Are we alone? These are some of the questions we ask in our quest to learn about and share the wonders of the universe. At the SETI Institute we have a passion for discovery and for passing knowledge along as scientific ambassadors.

    The SETI Institute is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit scientific research institute headquartered in Mountain View, California. We are a key research contractor to NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and we collaborate with industry partners throughout Silicon Valley and beyond.

    Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute employs more than 130 scientists, educators, and administrative staff. Work at the SETI Institute is anchored by three centers: the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe (research), the Center for Education and the Center for Outreach.

    The SETI Institute welcomes philanthropic support from individuals, private foundations, corporations and other groups to support our education and outreach initiatives, as well as unfunded scientific research and fieldwork.

    A Special Thank You to SETI Institute Partners and Collaborators
    • Campoalto, Chile, NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Headquarters, National Science Foundation, Aerojet Rocketdyne,SRI International

    Frontier Development Lab Partners
    • Breakthrough Prize Foundation, European Space Agency, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, KBRwyle. Kx Lockheed Martin, NASA Ames Research Center, Nvidia, SpaceResources Luxembourg, XPrize

    In-kind Service Providers
    • Gunderson Dettmer – General legal services, Hello Pilgrim – Website Design and Development Steptoe & Johnson – IP legal services, Danielle Futselaar

    SETI/Allen Telescope Array situated at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, 290 miles (470 km) northeast of San Francisco, California, USA, Altitude 986 m (3,235 ft)

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

    Also in the hunt, but not a part of the SETI Institute


    SETI@home, a BOINC project originated in the Space Science Lab at UC Berkeley

    BOINCLarge

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:39 pm on July 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Robert Ferguson Observatory, SETI Institute   

    From SETI Institute: “Site for First LaserSETI Observatory Identified” 

    SETI Logo new
    From SETI Institute

    Jul 29, 2019

    Laser SETI, the future of SETI Institute research

    1
    Plans are nearly complete for the first LaserSETI installation at the Robert Ferguson Observatory (RFO) in Sonoma County, California.

    2
    Robert Ferguson Observatory (RFO)

    LaserSETI Principal Investigator, Eliot Gillum, has built a collaborative and productive relationship between the SETI Institute and RFO, after locating the site based on complex astronomical suitability criteria. The SETI Institute collaborated with RFO founding board member Dr. Gordon Spear, RFO Board President Dave Kensiski, and RFO Executive Director Chris Cable and the final logistics are being worked out for the placement of LaserSETI’s first observatory at RFO’s idyllic facility.

    Dr. Spear is also an Emeritus Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Sonoma State University and is “extremely excited” that RFO will be partnering with the SETI Institute. He added that LaserSETI is significant to the scientific research being performed at RFO since their primary mission focuses on education. RFO hosts numerous events, field trips, and a steady stream of drop-ins from the public, adding up to more than 8000 visitors each year. Visitors will be able to take advantage of this location to visit LaserSETI. RFO has been a 100% volunteer organization since its founding in 2000, until recently hiring its first executive director.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SETI Institute


    About the SETI Institute

    What is life? How does it begin? Are we alone? These are some of the questions we ask in our quest to learn about and share the wonders of the universe. At the SETI Institute we have a passion for discovery and for passing knowledge along as scientific ambassadors.

    The SETI Institute is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit scientific research institute headquartered in Mountain View, California. We are a key research contractor to NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and we collaborate with industry partners throughout Silicon Valley and beyond.

    Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute employs more than 130 scientists, educators, and administrative staff. Work at the SETI Institute is anchored by three centers: the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe (research), the Center for Education and the Center for Outreach.

    The SETI Institute welcomes philanthropic support from individuals, private foundations, corporations and other groups to support our education and outreach initiatives, as well as unfunded scientific research and fieldwork.

    A Special Thank You to SETI Institute Partners and Collaborators
    • Campoalto, Chile, NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Headquarters, National Science Foundation, Aerojet Rocketdyne,SRI International

    Frontier Development Lab Partners
    • Breakthrough Prize Foundation, European Space Agency, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, KBRwyle. Kx Lockheed Martin, NASA Ames Research Center, Nvidia, SpaceResources Luxembourg, XPrize

    In-kind Service Providers
    • Gunderson Dettmer – General legal services, Hello Pilgrim – Website Design and Development Steptoe & Johnson – IP legal services, Danielle Futselaar

    SETI/Allen Telescope Array situated at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, 290 miles (470 km) northeast of San Francisco, California, USA, Altitude 986 m (3,235 ft)

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

    Also in the hunt, but not a part of the SETI Institute


    SETI@home, a BOINC project originated in the Space Science Lab at UC Berkeley

    BOINCLarge

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:43 am on July 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , SETI Institute   

    From SETI Institute: “NASA Frontier Development Lab Returns to Silicon Valley to Solve New Challenges with AI” 

    SETI Logo new
    From SETI Institute

    Jun 24, 2019

    1

    Next week, NASA’s Frontier Development Lab, the SETI Institute, and FDL’s private sector and space agency partners will kick off its fourth annual summer research accelerator, applying the latest techniques in machine learning and artificial intelligence to address important science and exploration research challenges. This year, 24 early career Ph.Ds in AI and interdisciplinary natural science domains will be working in six interdisciplinary teams on challenge questions in the areas of space weather, lunar resources, Earth observation and astronaut health.

    “Since its inception, FDL has proven the efficacy of interdisciplinary research and the power of public-private partnership,” said Bill Diamond, president and CEO of the SETI Institute. “We are building on the extraordinary accomplishments of the researchers and mentors from the first three years and are excited to welcome another international group of amazing young scientists for this year’s program. We are also extremely grateful to all our private sector partners and especially to Google Cloud for their leadership role.”

    Partner organizations support FDL by providing funding, supplying hardware, AI/ML algorithms, datasets, software and cloud-compute resources. They also support working teams with mentors and subject matter experts and hosting key events, such as the first-week AI boot camp and the final public team presentations. This year, FDL is pleased to welcome back partners Google Cloud, Intel, IBM, KX, Lockheed Martin, Luxembourg Space Agency, and NVIDIA. We are also pleased to welcome our new partners Canadian Space Agency, HPE and Element AI.

    For the past three years, FDL has demonstrated the potential of applied AI to deliver important results to the space program in a very intense sprint, when supported in this way by a consortium of motivated partners. This approach has proven critical in unlocking meaningful progress in the complex and often systemic nature of AI problems.

    “NASA has been at the forefront of machine learning – e.g. robotics,” said Madhulika Guhathakurta, program scientist and heliophysicist on detail at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. “But we’re now witnessing an inflection point, where AI promises to become a tool for discovery – where the ability to process vast amount of heterogeneous data, as well as massive amount of data collected over decades, allows us to revisit the physics-based models of the past – to better understand underlying principles and radically improve time to insight.”

    Each team is comprised of two Ph.D. or postdoc researchers from the space sciences and two data scientists, supported by mentors in each area. This year’s participants come from 13 countries and will be working on these challenges:

    Disaster prevention, progress and response (floods)
    Lunar resource mapping/super resolution
    Expanding the capabilities of NASA’s solar dynamics observatory
    Super-resolution maps of the solar magnetic field covering 40 years of space weather events
    Enhanced Predictability of GNSS Disturbances
    Generation of simulated biosensor data

    Additionally, three teams in Europe will be addressing disaster prevention, progress and response (floods), ground station pass scheduling and assessing the changing nature of atmospheric phenomena, in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).

    FDL 2019 kicks off next week at NVIDIA headquarters in Santa Clara, California, where teams will participate in a one-week intensive boot camp. The program concludes on August 15 at Google in Mountain View, California where teams will present the results of their work. Throughout the summer, teams will be working at the SETI Institute and NASA’s Ames Research Center near Mountain View.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SETI Institute


    About the SETI Institute

    What is life? How does it begin? Are we alone? These are some of the questions we ask in our quest to learn about and share the wonders of the universe. At the SETI Institute we have a passion for discovery and for passing knowledge along as scientific ambassadors.

    The SETI Institute is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit scientific research institute headquartered in Mountain View, California. We are a key research contractor to NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and we collaborate with industry partners throughout Silicon Valley and beyond.

    Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute employs more than 130 scientists, educators, and administrative staff. Work at the SETI Institute is anchored by three centers: the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe (research), the Center for Education and the Center for Outreach.

    The SETI Institute welcomes philanthropic support from individuals, private foundations, corporations and other groups to support our education and outreach initiatives, as well as unfunded scientific research and fieldwork.

    A Special Thank You to SETI Institute Partners and Collaborators
    • Campoalto, Chile, NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Headquarters, National Science Foundation, Aerojet Rocketdyne,SRI International

    Frontier Development Lab Partners
    • Breakthrough Prize Foundation, European Space Agency, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, KBRwyle. Kx Lockheed Martin, NASA Ames Research Center, Nvidia, SpaceResources Luxembourg, XPrize

    In-kind Service Providers
    • Gunderson Dettmer – General legal services, Hello Pilgrim – Website Design and Development Steptoe & Johnson – IP legal services, Danielle Futselaar

    SETI/Allen Telescope Array situated at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, 290 miles (470 km) northeast of San Francisco, California, USA, Altitude 986 m (3,235 ft)

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

    Also in the hunt, but not a part of the SETI Institute


    SETI@home, a BOINC project originated in the Space Science Lab at UC Berkeley

    BOINCLarge

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:24 am on July 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Beyond the Galileo Experiment, , , SETI Institute   

    From SETI Institute: “100 YEARS OF THE IAU: Beyond the Galileo Experiment” 

    SETI Logo new
    From SETI Institute

    Jul 5, 2019

    1

    Galileo’s closest approach to our planet in December 1990 allowed scientists to perform the first controlled experiment for the search for life on Earth from space.

    NASA/Galileo 1989-2003

    Ten months earlier, Voyager 1 had returned the iconic ‘Pale Blue Dot’ image.

    NASA/Voyager 1

    1
    The Pale Blue Dot” by Carl Sagan

    From beyond the orbit of Neptune, Earth appeared as a mere fraction of a pixel. The planetary portrait was captured at the suggestion of Carl Sagan, who was also the designer of the Galileo flyby experiment. The Pale Blue Dot became an instant symbol for a civilization stepping out of its planetary cradle in search of life beyond Earth. Success would require that humanity redefine itself from a cosmic perspective. Within 10 months of the Pale Blue Dot delivering the philosophical message, the Galileo experiment provided a scientific roadmap for the journey.

    In a commentary commissioned by Nature Astronomy for the 100th Anniversary of the IAU and published on July 5th, 2019, Dr. Nathalie A. Cabrol, astrobiologist and Director of the SETI Institute Carl Sagan Center for Research shows how, 26 years after its publication, A search for life on Earth from the Galileo spacecraft by Sagan et al. (1993) reveals a fused vision of a future of biosignature detection in the Solar System and beyond that is even more relevant today.

    You can read the full article at Nature:
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-019-0839-3.epdf?author_access_token=WXdpWIIvGJeTn1khGF67RdRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0M2090hjzd3iAY8Y_7pOmkQ5jAuZcceUL2M1XuY4rFPJyt9-TBcnJZ6XSIJC-WNDLxBjEGkpL8QTL3WuqNPMnZX3qjmxGEUwidwNtPSm9-6bQ%3D%3D

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SETI Institute


    About the SETI Institute

    What is life? How does it begin? Are we alone? These are some of the questions we ask in our quest to learn about and share the wonders of the universe. At the SETI Institute we have a passion for discovery and for passing knowledge along as scientific ambassadors.

    The SETI Institute is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit scientific research institute headquartered in Mountain View, California. We are a key research contractor to NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and we collaborate with industry partners throughout Silicon Valley and beyond.

    Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute employs more than 130 scientists, educators, and administrative staff. Work at the SETI Institute is anchored by three centers: the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe (research), the Center for Education and the Center for Outreach.

    The SETI Institute welcomes philanthropic support from individuals, private foundations, corporations and other groups to support our education and outreach initiatives, as well as unfunded scientific research and fieldwork.

    A Special Thank You to SETI Institute Partners and Collaborators
    • Campoalto, Chile, NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Headquarters, National Science Foundation, Aerojet Rocketdyne,SRI International

    Frontier Development Lab Partners
    • Breakthrough Prize Foundation, European Space Agency, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, KBRwyle. Kx Lockheed Martin, NASA Ames Research Center, Nvidia, SpaceResources Luxembourg, XPrize

    In-kind Service Providers
    • Gunderson Dettmer – General legal services, Hello Pilgrim – Website Design and Development Steptoe & Johnson – IP legal services, Danielle Futselaar

    SETI/Allen Telescope Array situated at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, 290 miles (470 km) northeast of San Francisco, California, USA, Altitude 986 m (3,235 ft)

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

    Also in the hunt, but not a part of the SETI Institute


    SETI@home, a BOINC project originated in the Space Science Lab at UC Berkeley

    BOINCLarge

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:52 am on July 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , SETI Institute,   

    From SETI Institute : “Search for space aliens comes up empty, but extraterrestrial life could still be out there” 

    SETI Logo new
    From SETI Institute

    Jul 1, 2019
    Seth Shostak

    1
    Credit: Breakthrough Listen / Danielle Futselaar

    The “Breakthrough Listen” initiative listened in on 1,300 star systems and found no sign of E.T. But the search is set to expand.

    Breakthrough Listen Project

    1

    UC Observatories Lick Autmated Planet Finder, fully robotic 2.4-meter optical telescope at Lick Observatory, situated on the summit of Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, California, USA




    GBO radio telescope, Green Bank, West Virginia, USA


    CSIRO/Parkes Observatory, located 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia


    SKA Meerkat telescope, 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon, SA

    Newly added-

    CfA/VERITAS, a major ground-based gamma-ray observatory with an array of four 12m optical reflectors for gamma-ray astronomy in the GeV – TeV energy range. Located at Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, Mount Hopkins, Arizona, US in AZ, USA, Altitude 2,606 m (8,550 ft)

    The search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, is a numbers game — and bigger numbers are better. The more places you look for alien beings — the more expansive your search — the greater the chance you’ll turn up proof of their existence. So it’s notable that Breakthrough Listen, a privately funded, decade-long research project based at the University of California, Berkeley, just announced a significant number of new observations. And while the researchers didn’t uncover any signals from extraterrestrials, they’ve taken a major step forward in the search.

    The basic premise of SETI — that we live in a galaxy festooned with brainy societies — rests upon the hypothesis that there must be many habitats in the Milky Way where complex biology has had a chance to evolve and thrive.

    Milky Way NASA/JPL-Caltech /ESO R. Hurt. The bar is visible in this image

    There are about a trillion planets in the Milky Way. If you represented each planet with a marble and laid them all out on the ground cheek by jowl, they’d cover an area larger than Washington, D.C. It doesn’t take an outsize imagination to expect that at least some fraction of this multitude are home to clever inhabitants.

    But how many is “some?” Even Nostradamus would struggle to come up with a precise answer. So let’s say one planet in a million, which doesn’t sound terribly brash (and we’re not even counting moons!). In that case, our galaxy has spawned roughly a million societies. Even if this estimate is hundreds or thousands of times too optimistic, there could still be plenty of aliens to find.

    But if this straw-man argument suggests that extraterrestrials are out there, it also suggests that detecting them will require a lot of searching. The new results from Breakthrough Listen — an examination of roughly 1,300 nearby stars — has approximately doubled the tally of reconnoitered real estate. This was not a trivial effort; it took scientists three years of heavy-duty work using large antennas in West Virginia and Australia. For each of these star systems, they carefully sifted through several billion radio channels, looking for a signal of the type that only a radio transmitter can produce.

    Frank Drake with his Drake Equation. Credit Frank Drake


    Drake Equation, Frank Drake, Seti Institute

    SETI/Allen Telescope Array situated at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, 290 miles (470 km) northeast of San Francisco, California, USA, Altitude 986 m (3,235 ft)

    The bottom line of the new observations? No extraterrestrial radio emissions were detected. Sure, there were plenty of signals, but all could be ascribed to human activity — either transmitters here on Earth or orbiting satellites.

    If that surprises or disappoints you, get a grip. Those 1,300 stars represent only a minuscule sample of the total planetary population.

    It’s also worth noting that the new observations were reviewed only by the Breakthrough Listen team. Maybe they missed something. Others might apply their own signal-decoding algorithms and do their own analyses of this massive thicket of numbers and find something interesting. The Berkeley folks have made their data publicly accessible online just in case others want to try their personal favorite algorithm.

    Still, it’s clear that SETI so far has failed to come home with a kewpie doll. Neither Breakthrough Listen nor any other SETI project has picked up a compelling narrow-band radio signal — one that’s at a single spot on the radio dial — that clearly originates from a source beyond our solar system. But Breakthrough Listen at least has refined the equipment, developed the software and trained a half-dozen grad students, all with the intention of continuing and expanding the search.

    Indeed, the Breakthrough Listen team is thinking big. Their long-term goal is to target a million star systems — exceeding by hundreds of times the total number of targets scrutinized by SETI since the birth of the field 60 years ago.

    Examining a million stellar environments might sound impractical, but it’s not. While it took three years to add 1,300 to the list of observed systems, the speed of the search is increasing. It won’t take a century or two to add a million more. The actual timescale is closer to a decade. That should buoy readers who hope to be among the first humans to learn whether aliens really exist.

    Sure, there are no guarantees, and SETI rests upon a hypothesis that’s impossible to falsify. It may be that there is an abundance of inhabited worlds but that 21st century SETI technology — mostly listening for alien radio signals — is incapable of detecting them. But such caveats are no reason to stop trying, any more than we should abandon efforts to find a cure for the common cold just because none has yet been found.

    SETI has always butted up against the fact that the universe is very large and mostly empty — and that exploring large chunks of it takes a long time. But there’s both hope and expectation that, as the numbers grow, so too will the chance that one day we’ll find a scratchy signal — one that will change all future history.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SETI Institute

    About the SETI Institute

    What is life? How does it begin? Are we alone? These are some of the questions we ask in our quest to learn about and share the wonders of the universe. At the SETI Institute we have a passion for discovery and for passing knowledge along as scientific ambassadors.

    The SETI Institute is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit scientific research institute headquartered in Mountain View, California. We are a key research contractor to NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and we collaborate with industry partners throughout Silicon Valley and beyond.

    Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute employs more than 130 scientists, educators, and administrative staff. Work at the SETI Institute is anchored by three centers: the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe (research), the Center for Education and the Center for Outreach.

    The SETI Institute welcomes philanthropic support from individuals, private foundations, corporations and other groups to support our education and outreach initiatives, as well as unfunded scientific research and fieldwork.

    A Special Thank You to SETI Institute Partners and Collaborators
    • Campoalto, Chile, NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Headquarters, National Science Foundation, Aerojet Rocketdyne,SRI International

    Frontier Development Lab Partners
    • Breakthrough Prize Foundation, European Space Agency, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, KBRwyle. Kx Lockheed Martin, NASA Ames Research Center, Nvidia, SpaceResources Luxembourg, XPrize

    In-kind Service Providers

    Gunderson Dettmer – General legal services
    Hello Pilgrim – Website Design and Development
    Steptoe & Johnson – IP legal services
    Danielle Futselaar

    SETI/Allen Telescope Array situated at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, 290 miles (470 km) northeast of San Francisco, California, USA, Altitude 986 m (3,235 ft)

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

    Also in the hunt, but not a part of the SETI Institute


    SETI@home, a BOINC project originated in the Space Science Lab at UC Berkeley

    BOINCLarge

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:37 am on July 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , SETI Institute,   

    From SETI Institute: “SETI Institute in the News June 20 – June 26, 2019” 

    SETI Logo new
    From SETI Institute

    1

    Life on Mars? Methane Readings Raise Hopes

    Early results of measurements recently taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover show surprisingly high levels of methane on Mars, prompting the rover’s science team to schedule another sampling for confirmation, and spurring excitement in the science community. On Earth, methane is predominately generated as a waste product by living things (biotic methane), and this reading might be evidence of active microbial life existing beneath the martian surface. It’s also possible that the methane is due to non-biological chemical reactions (abiotic methane). However, methane breaks down quickly when exposed to sunlight – meaning it would have to have been produced within only the last few centuries. Astrobiologists can’t help but hope that this reading may be a smoking gun, so to speak, of life on Mars. The search for life is a major reason for the interest in the red planet, as Seth Shostak, SETI Institute Senior Astronomer, noted in an Interesting Engineering article:

    “That’s the mythology,” said astronomer Seth Shostak, of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute. “Mars is about life, not geology, as interesting as that is.”

    NASA has stated it will not officially announce the readings until additional data are taken and the results confirmed.

    Interesting Engineering: Hotly-Contested Pursuit of Methane Brings Us Closer to Finding Life on Mars

    2

    Breakthrough Listen and the Search for Extraterrestrials

    Breakthrough Listen Project

    1

    UC Observatories Lick Autmated Planet Finder, fully robotic 2.4-meter optical telescope at Lick Observatory, situated on the summit of Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, California, USA




    GBO radio telescope, Green Bank, West Virginia, USA


    CSIRO/Parkes Observatory, located 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia


    SKA Meerkat telescope, 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon, SA

    Axios took note of the wealth of data released to the public by Breakthrough Listen, the largest release of SETI data to date. While significant, it still only represents searching a tiny amount of the vast universe, as Jill Tarter, co-founder of the SETI Institute and Chair Emeritus for SETI Research, told Axios:

    “If you compare the volume of space we’re able to search for signs of advanced technology to the volume of Earth’s oceans, then “so far, since 1960, we’ve searched about one hot tub’s worth of the ocean,” says longtime SETI researcher Jill Tarter.

    Not only is the search only beginning, our technology may not yet be advanced enough to detect the kind of signals SETI researchers are hoping to find, SETI Institute Senior Astronomer Seth Shostak explains:

    “So, there’s always that possibility that we’re just, you know, not at the point where we can pick up the signals easily. There may be lots and lots of signals, but we can’t pick them up,” SETI Institute’s Seth Shostak told Axios.

    Are we alone? For now, the question stands. Further analysis of the data already collected and published by Breakthrough Listen, now available to SETI researchers and the public everywhere, may inform and help to improve future searches.

    3

    The SETI Institute and UC Berkeley’s SETI@home: Two Approaches toward a Shared Goal

    Visitors to the SETI Institute often mention that their interest in the search for life beyond Earth started with a program called SETI@home. This software allows volunteers to lend their computers to run a background program that processes data collected by radio telescopes in search of possible extraterrestrial signals. The public response to SETI@home’s 1999 launch was incredibly enthusiastic, proving the value of citizen science. While the SETI Institute is not affiliated with SETI@home, the volunteer computer project, created by the Berkeley SETI Research Center, has been an important complement to the SETI Institute’s research and outreach efforts, as SETI Institute Senior Astronomer Seth Shostak noted in a recent article on the Ringer:

    SETI@home, a BOINC project originated in the Space Science Lab at UC Berkeley

    Shostak says he’s often asked whether SETI@home has helped him. “Of course the easy answer is no, because it’s not our project,” he says. “But that’s not true. It’s like asking an astronomer in the 1980s, ‘Hey, does Carl Sagan help you?’ And, of course, if that guy doesn’t work with Carl Sagan he’ll say no. But, in fact, Carl Sagan has helped him, because Carl Sagan has increased the interest in the field of astronomy. … SETI@home has done much the same for SETI.”

    The article also discussed the different approaches the two groups take. SETI Institute is able to monitor for signals and investigate in real-time using the (ATA), as Shostak explained:

    When it picks up a signal, it can be investigated immediately, reorienting the telescope to see whether the signal is really interstellar or is only interference masquerading as the real deal. Seth Shostak, the SETI Institute’s Senior Astronomer, says, “We wanted to follow up on signals immediately, within a minute, because you don’t want to run the risk of, well, this was a beacon, and then E.T. got bored or went out to lunch or who knows what and then turned off their transmitter, pointed it somewhere else.”

    SETI/Allen Telescope Array situated at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, 290 miles (470 km) northeast of San Francisco, California, USA, Altitude 986 m (3,235 ft)

    On the other hand, SETI@home can take more time to sift through data in depth:

    “We have to make a decision, what are the best sorts of signal signatures to look for,” Shostak says. “And they can look for a wider range of those, because they have all the time in the world and a lot of the processing power in the world.”

    Jon Richards, SETI Institute research scientist whose work concentrates on SETI signals with the ATA, is himself cognizant of the difficulties faced by the two non-profits since funding for NASA’s SETI research was cut back in the early 90’s:

    SETI Institute research scientist Jon Richards says that SETI@home “does well with the resources it has, but it needs to grow larger,” adding, “I would support a big funding initiative.” Richards notes that even if new cloud-computing companies could replicate SETI@home’s power, they couldn’t replicate the PR value of making the public part of the search.

    Rather than rivalry, the two organizations share a common goal: to find out what, if any, forms of intelligent life exist elsewhere in the universe. Jill Tarter, co-founder of the SETI Institute and Chair Emeritus for SETI Research, sees the value in both paths to find answers:

    Tarter values SETI@home’s role in expanding the public’s involvement in science. “No question that SETI@home put citizen science with distributed competing on the map,” she says.

    Tarter is still partial to the SETI Institute’s approach. “I prefer to analyze incoming data as close to real time as possible in order to follow up immediately,” she says. “On the other hand, SETI@home has an enormous amount of time on the sky at certain frequencies, but with delayed analysis. We’ll know which was the better strategy when one of us succeeds.”

    The Ringer: E.T.’s Home Phone

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    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 8:34 am on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Applying the latest techniques in machine learning and artificial intelligence to address important science and exploration research challenges, NASA’s Frontier Development Lab, SETI Institute   

    From SETI Institute: “NASA Frontier Development Lab Returns to Silicon Valley to Solve New Challenges with AI” 

    SETI Logo new
    From SETI Institute

    1

    Next week, NASA’s Frontier Development Lab, the SETI Institute and FDL’s private sector and space agency partners will kick off its fourth annual summer research accelerator, applying the latest techniques in machine learning and artificial intelligence to address important science and exploration research challenges. This year, 24 early career Ph.Ds in AI and interdisciplinary natural science domains will be working in six interdisciplinary teams on challenge questions in the areas of space weather, lunar resources, Earth observation and astronaut health.

    “Since its inception, FDL has proven the efficacy of interdisciplinary research and the power of public-private partnership,” said Bill Diamond, president and CEO of the SETI Institute. “We are building on the extraordinary accomplishments of the researchers and mentors from the first three years and are excited to welcome another international group of amazing young scientists for this year’s program. We are also extremely grateful to all our private sector partners and especially to Google Cloud for their leadership role.”

    Partner organizations support FDL by providing funding, supplying hardware, AI/ML algorithms, datasets, software and cloud-compute resources. They also support working teams with mentors and subject matter experts and hosting key events, such as the first-week AI boot camp and the final public team presentations. This year, FDL is pleased to welcome back partners Google Cloud, Intel, IBM, KX, Lockheed Martin, Luxembourg Space Agency, and NVIDIA. We are also pleased to welcome our new partners Canadian Space Agency, HPE and Element AI.

    For the past three years, FDL has demonstrated the potential of applied AI to deliver important results to the space program in a very intense sprint, when supported in this way by a consortium of motivated partners. This approach has proven critical in unlocking meaningful progress in the complex and often systemic nature of AI problems.

    “NASA has been at the forefront of machine learning – e.g. robotics,” said Madhulika Guhathakurta, program scientist and heliophysicist on detail at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. “But we’re now witnessing an inflection point, where AI promises to become a tool for discovery – where the ability to process vast amount of heterogeneous data, as well as massive amount of data collected over decades, allows us to revisit the physics-based models of the past – to better understand underlying principles and radically improve time to insight”

    Each team is comprised of two Ph.D. or postdoc researchers from the space sciences and two data scientists, supported by mentors in each area. This year’s participants come from 13 countries and will be working on these challenges:

    Disaster prevention, progress and response (floods)
    Lunar resource mapping/super resolution
    Expanding the capabilities of NASA’s solar dynamics observatory
    Super-resolution maps of the solar magnetic field covering 40 years of space weather events
    Enhanced Predictability of GNSS Disturbances
    Generation of simulated biosensor data

    Additionally, three teams in Europe will be addressing disaster prevention, progress and response (floods), ground station pass scheduling and assessing the changing nature of atmospheric phenomena, in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).

    FDL 2019 kicks off next week at NVIDIA headquarters in Santa Clara, California, where teams will participate in a one-week intensive boot camp. The program concludes on August 15 at Google in Mountain View, California where teams will present the results of their work. Throughout the summer, teams will be working at the SETI Institute and NASA’s Ames Research Center near Mountain View.

    About the NASA Frontier Development Lab (FDL)

    Hosted in Silicon Valley by the SETI Institute, NASA FDL is an applied artificial intelligence research accelerator developed in partnership with NASA’s Ames Research Center. Founded in 2016, the NASA FDL aims to apply AI technologies to challenges in space exploration by pairing machine learning expertise with space science and exploration researchers from academia and industry. These interdisciplinary teams address tightly defined problems and the format encourages rapid iteration and prototyping to create outputs with meaningful application to the space program and humanity.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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