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

    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 .

    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 12:52 pm on January 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Astro 2020: Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics, , , , , , SETI Institute, Technosignatures   

    From Science News: “It’s time to start taking the search for E.T. seriously, astronomers say” 

    From Science News

    January 28, 2019
    Lisa Grossman

    WE’RE LISTENING The Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia was the first to listen for signals from intelligent aliens in 1960. The radio telescope has gotten back into the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in recent years.



    GBO radio telescope, Green Bank, West Virginia, USA

    Long an underfunded, fringe field of science, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence may be ready to go mainstream.

    Astronomer Jason Wright is determined to see that happen. At a meeting in Seattle of the American Astronomical Society in January, Wright convened “a little ragtag group in a tiny room” to plot a course for putting the scientific field, known as SETI, on NASA’s agenda.

    The group is writing a series of papers arguing that scientists should be searching the universe for “technosignatures” — any sign of alien technology, from radio signals to waste heat. The hope is that those papers will go into a report to Congress at the end of 2020 detailing the astronomical community’s priorities. That report, Astro 2020: Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics, will determine which telescopes fly and which studies receive federal funding through the next decade.

    “The stakes are high,” says Wright, of Penn State University. “If the decadal survey says, ‘SETI is a national science priority, and NSF and NASA need to fund it,’ they will do it.”

    SETI searches date back to 1960, when astronomer Frank Drake used the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to listen for signals from an intelligent civilization (SN Online: 11/1/09). But NASA didn’t start a formal SETI program until 1992, only to see it canceled within a year by a skeptical Congress.

    Drake Equation, Frank Drake, Seti Institute


    Frank Drake speaking at Cornell University in Schwartz Auditorium, 19 October 2017 by Amalex5

    Private organizations picked up the baton, including the SETI Institute, founded in Mountain View, Calif., in 1985 by astronomer Jill Tarter — the inspiration for Jodie Foster’s character in the movie Contact (SN Online: 5/29/12).

    Jill Tarter Image courtesy of Jill Tarter

    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)

    Then in 2015, Russian billionaires Yuri and Julia Milner launched the Breakthrough Initiatives to join the hunt for E.T.

    Breakthrough Listen Project

    1

    Lick Automated Planet Finder telescope, Mount Hamilton, CA, 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

    But the search for technosignatures still hasn’t become a more serious, self-sustaining scientific discipline, Wright says.

    “If NASA were to declare technosignatures a scientific priority, then we would be able to apply for money to work on it. We would be able to train students to do it,” Wright says. “Then we could catch up” to more mature fields of astronomy, he says.

    Wright himself is a relative newcomer to SETI, entering the field in 2014 with a study on searching for heat from alien technology. He was also one of a group to suggest that the oddly flickering “Tabby’s star” could be surrounded by an alien megastructure — and then to debunk that idea with more data (SN: 9/30/17, p. 11).

    In the last five years, scientists’ attitudes toward the search for intelligent alien life have been changing, Wright says. SETI used to have a “giggle factor,” raising images of little green men, he says. And talking about SETI work as an astronomer was considered taboo, if not academic suicide. Now, not so much. “I have the pop sociology theory that the ascension of geek culture has something to do with it,” Wright says. “Now it’s like all the top movies are comic books and science fiction.”

    When NASA requested a report in 2018 on what technosignatures are and how to look for them, SETI researchers thought hopefully that the space agency might be ready to get back into the SETI game. Colleagues tapped Wright to organize a meeting to prepare the technosignatures report, posted online December 20 at arXiv.org.

    But Wright didn’t stop there. He convened the new workshop group with the goal of dividing up the work of writing at least nine papers on specific SETI opportunities for the decadal survey. By contrast, there was only one submission on SETI research, written by Tarter, in the 2010 decadal survey.

    The SETI situation has also evolved since the 2009 launch of the Kepler space telescope, which discovered thousands of exoplanets before its mission ended in 2018 (SN Online: 10/30/18). Some of those planets outside our solar system are similar in size and temperature to Earth, raising hopes that they may also host life. Old arguments that planets like Earth are rare “don’t hold much water any longer,” Wright says.

    The exoplanet rush has sparked a surge in research about biosignatures, signs of microbial life on other planets. NASA’s next big space telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, is planning to search directly for signs of alien life in exoplanet atmospheres (SN: 4/30/16, p. 32). So far, though, no one has found any biosignatures, let alone technosignatures. But the focus on searching for the one makes the case for ignoring the other seem all the weaker, Wright says.

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 1:21 pm on January 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , SETI Institute, When New Horizons Met Ultima Thule   

    From SETI Institute: “When New Horizons Met Ultima Thule” Video 

    SETI Logo new
    From SETI Institute


    43 minutes

    1
    Ultima Thule

    NASA New Horizons spacecraft

    Kuiper Belt. Minor Planet Center

    CEO Bill Diamond is joined by New Horizons Hazard team lead and SETI Institute Senior Scientist, Mark Showalter to discuss the spacecraft’s flyby of Ultima Thule, what it’s like working on the Hazards team, and even the naming of some of Pluto’s surface features.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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  • richardmitnick 1:49 pm on January 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , SETI Institute,   

    From Sky & Telescope: “NASA Renews Interest in SETI” 

    SKY&Telescope bloc

    From Sky & Telescope

    January 4, 2019
    David Grinspoon

    After a long hiatus, the space agency gets back into the SETI game.

    In July I wrote about innovative approaches for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). In that column I lamented the fact that NASA support for this field dried up in the 1990s and had not returned, even though astrobiology has since flourished. Many of us felt that the bureaucratically maintained distinction between astrobiology and SETI did not make intellectual sense, and we longed for SETI to be let in from the cold.

    Sometimes wishes come true.

    As that column went to press I received an email asking if I would help organize a workshop on “technosignatures.” The sponsor? NASA. That got my attention. The purpose was to explore how to best use NASA resources in a renewed search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Apparently, Congress’s new federal budget mandated that NASA spend $10 million “to search for technosignatures, such as radio transmissions, in order to meet the NASA objective to search for life’s origin, evolution, distribution, and future in the universe.” Wow!

    The workshop, which took place in September, was highly stimulating, and given the renewed government interest in SETI, the mood was bright and optimistic. Along with evaluation of historical and current searches, there was an openness to new ideas born of a kind of humility. We can’t really second-guess the properties or motivations of technological aliens, so we have to cast a wide net. In addition to “traditional” SETI searches for radio signals or laser pulses, we must be alert to more passive signs of technological entities that might not be trying to get in touch with anyone. These include possible artifacts beyond or within our own solar system, or planetary atmospheres altered or engineered by industrial activities.

    Attendees made an effort to stick to the prosaic questions: What observing programs can we ramp up in the next few years using NASA’s current or expected assets and instruments? How can NASA best collaborate with private partners such as the SETI Institute and Breakthrough Listen?

    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)

    Breakthrough Listen Project

    1

    Lick Automated Planet Finder telescope, Mount Hamilton, CA, 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

    But with SETI it’s hard to avoid deep philosophical musings. Some talks at the workshop delved into abstract but necessary puzzles about the properties and behavior of distant, advanced civilizations — even about what we mean by “advanced” and “civilization.” SETI has always combined solid engineering, daring speculation, and profound questioning.

    Laser SETI, the future of SETI Institute research

    This admixture didn’t always sit well with some. At the first international SETI conference in Byurakan, Soviet Armenia in 1971, organizers Carl Sagan and Iosif Shklovsky welcomed historians, philosophers, linguists, and social scientists along with the scientists. At the time, one young Soviet astrophysicist asked that the humanities be left out, stating he didn’t want to listen to “windbags.” A leading American physicist exclaimed, “To hell with philosophy! I came here to learn about observations and instruments . . .”

    This historical tension seemed absent from September’s workshop. Although our prime directive was to guide NASA in the use of its assets to search for technosignatures, there was respectful discussion of the more esoteric and humanistic questions that are naturally evoked, and a recognition that a mature SETI program going forward will involve more than just telescopes and computer models. Out of this will come new calls for proposals to NASA, and then a new era of federally funded SETI research. May it be long and fruitful.

    See the full article here .

    NASA might also consider aiding SETI@home, a BOINC project from the Space Science Lab at UC Berkeley processing data from The Arecibo Observatory


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



    NAIC Arecibo Observatory operated by University of Central Florida, Yang Enterprises and UMET, Altitude 497 m (1,631 ft).

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    Sky & Telescope magazine, founded in 1941 by Charles A. Federer Jr. and Helen Spence Federer, has the largest, most experienced staff of any astronomy magazine in the world. Its editors are virtually all amateur or professional astronomers, and every one has built a telescope, written a book, done original research, developed a new product, or otherwise distinguished him or herself.

    Sky & Telescope magazine, now in its eighth decade, came about because of some happy accidents. Its earliest known ancestor was a four-page bulletin called The Amateur Astronomer, which was begun in 1929 by the Amateur Astronomers Association in New York City. Then, in 1935, the American Museum of Natural History opened its Hayden Planetarium and began to issue a monthly bulletin that became a full-size magazine called The Sky within a year. Under the editorship of Hans Christian Adamson, The Sky featured large illustrations and articles from astronomers all over the globe. It immediately absorbed The Amateur Astronomer.

    Despite initial success, by 1939 the planetarium found itself unable to continue financial support of The Sky. Charles A. Federer, who would become the dominant force behind Sky & Telescope, was then working as a lecturer at the planetarium. He was asked to take over publishing The Sky. Federer agreed and started an independent publishing corporation in New York.

    “Our first issue came out in January 1940,” he noted. “We dropped from 32 to 24 pages, used cheaper quality paper…but editorially we further defined the departments and tried to squeeze as much information as possible between the covers.” Federer was The Sky’s editor, and his wife, Helen, served as managing editor. In that January 1940 issue, they stated their goal: “We shall try to make the magazine meet the needs of amateur astronomy, so that amateur astronomers will come to regard it as essential to their pursuit, and professionals to consider it a worthwhile medium in which to bring their work before the public.”

     
  • richardmitnick 9:07 pm on November 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Nathalie Cabrol-Director of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, SETI Institute, Supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and helping prepare missions such as Mars 2020 and ExoMars that will soon seek traces of ancient biosignatures on the Red Planet, The search for life beyond Earth, Update from the SETI Institute NAI Team 2018 Expedition to the Andes   

    From SETI Institute: “Update from the SETI Institute NAI Team 2018 Expedition to the Andes” 

    SETI Logo new

    From SETI Institute

    Nathalie Cabrol, Director of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, is leading the SETI Institute NAI team on its 2018 field expedition to the Andes:

    Nathalie Cabrol-Director of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe

    “This year, between October 17-November 20, 2018, my team and I are returning to the Chilean High Andes,” said Nathalie. “There, we will continue the development of new planetary exploration strategies, instruments, and systems, which in the near future will dramatically change the way we search for life beyond Earth. Our project is supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and helps prepare missions such as Mars 2020 and ExoMars that will soon seek traces of ancient biosignatures on the Red Planet.”

    While the team is in Chile, Nathalie will be providing updates when she is able to be in an area with an internet connection. The photos are amazing!

    Follow along with us:

    Field Update 1.
    Pajonales: Biosignature Detection in Mars Analog Environment
    Our team arrived safely in Chile and spent several days (Nov. 1-3) at our first site, Salar de Pajonales, deploying instruments and performing experiments. Some of the instruments we brought with us are equivalent to those that will be onboard NASA’s Mars 2020 and ESA’s ExoMars.

    Our goal is to support these missions by understanding how we transition from the characterization of planetary habitability – the type of exploration that was performed in the past 15 years, to searching for ancient or recent biosignatures on Mars, which is the goal of the upcoming missions.

    Habitability is primarily defined by astronomy and environment (physicochemical conditions), whereas ancient habitats are defined by biology, in this case, microbial life. Their scales (habitability vs. habitats) and the resolution needed to explore them are vastly different, which means that exploration strategies and methods must adapt. One of the main questions is then how much the data we have at global to regional scales inform us about the patterns that we should be searching for when exploring for microbial habitats, and how we can integrate this information from orbit to the ground?

    This is what we are documenting in Chile in the coming 3 weeks with a number of cameras, including a visible camera, Raman and XRD-XRF spectrometers, drones, drills, experiments that include organics, DNA, all sorts of microenvironmental sensing and sampling, and much more. Salar de Pajonales is for most a dry lakebed with a vast field of gypsum mounds and polygons that offer very localized and small scale, repeatable habitats to extremophiles. Located at the boundary of the Atacama desert, it provides a great analog to ancient Martian lakes (see photos).

    2
    Salar de Pajonales (photo 80) (3,600 m/ 11,800 ft)| Otherworldly landscape at the boundary between the Atacama desert and the Altiplano. In the horizon, the Lastaria volcano continues to spew large plumes of water vapor and sulfur. Credit image: Michael Phillips, University of Tennessee Knoxville and the SETI Institute NAI Team.

    3
    Human scale of Exploration (photo 81) | Drone imagery provides the bird eye’s view of our team at work in Salar de Pajonales. It also reveals critical clues about the landscapes and the patterns associated with microbial habitats that are not always easily visible from the ground. For instance, while small fields of polygons are obvious when we walk in the salar, the larger polygon patterns become obvious only from the air. Credit image: Michael Phillips, University of Tennessee Knoxville and the SETI Institute NAI Team.

    4
    Windstorm (photo 82) | Nov 2, a windstorm started in early morning and stopped as abruptly as it had started around 5PM. The wind was fierce and created an amazing game of shadows and light all day long. In this barren desert, life is nowhere to be seen at the surface. It is hiding in very localized subsurface habitats. Credit image: Michael Phillips, University of Tennessee Knoxville and the SETI Institute NAI Team.

    The Expedition by the Numbers

    19 scientists
    13 institutions and companies
    4 countries (Chile, USA, Spain, Mexico)
    2 medical doctors
    2 cooks
    A 5 member team for logistical support
    2 National Geographic photographers
    7 pickup trucks; 1 truck for the equipment
    4.5 tons of equipment
    5 exploration sites

    And the odometer is still running. We are barely coming back from site one and the odometer for our convoy is already close to 1,000 km, most of them in conditions that would not really qualify as dirt trails. We call it the altiplanic “massage”.

    Participating Institutions and Companies

    The SETI Institute
    Campoalto
    Carnegie Mellon University, The Robotics Institute
    Centro de Astrobiología de Madrid, Spain
    Honeybee Robotics
    National Geographic
    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    Panorama Research Institute
    Universidad Catolica del Norte, Antofagasta, Chile
    University of Guam
    University of Montana
    University of Southern California
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    5
    Our camp at night. Right in the center of the star trail, the two Magellanic Clouds give visions of alien worlds. Credit photo: Victor Robles, Campoalto and the SETI Institute NAI Team.

    See the full article here .


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    Phone 650.961.6633 – Fax 650-961-7099
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  • richardmitnick 11:47 am on November 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Radcliffe, SETI Institute, , The search for intelligent life in the universe   

    From Harvard Gazette: “Is anybody out there?” 

    Harvard University
    Harvard University


    From Harvard Gazette

    1
    Earth’s night lights seen from the International Space Station. Photo courtesy of NASA

    Astronomer Jill Tarter on the search for intelligent life.

    The question of whether we’re alone in the universe has haunted humankind for thousands of years, and it’s one astronomer Jill Tarter has tried to answer for much of her life. Tarter, chair emeritus of the Center for SETI Research, worked as a project scientist for NASA’s SETI program, which aimed to detect transmissions from alien intelligence.


    She currently serves on the board for the Allen Telescope Array, a group of more than 350 telescopes north of San Francisco.

    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)

    “We are looking for signals at some frequency, some wavelength that don’t look like what Mother Nature produces,” she said in 2014.

    Tarter, an inspiration behind the novel and film Contact, visited campus last month to participate in the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study’s science symposium “The Undiscovered,” which addressed how scientists “explore realities they cannot anticipate.” We spoke with her about her work and why it matters.

    Q&A with Jill Tarter

    Jill Tarter Image courtesy of Jill Tarter

    GAZETTE: You’ve spoken a lot about the importance of perspective. What would finding other intelligent life do to our perspective on life in the universe and our own lives?

    TARTER: Even not finding it but trying to find it is important because it helps to give people a more cosmic perspective. I usually send people home from a lecture with a homework assignment, which is to go and alter their profiles on all of their social media so that the first thing they say about themselves is that they are an Earthling, because I think that this is the kind of perspective we are going to need to figure out how to solve all these really difficult challenges we have that don’t respect national boundaries. We’ve got to do it in a systemic global way, and I think the first step to getting there is to see ourselves in that context.

    GAZETTE: What are the odds are that we might find something?

    TARTER: It seems like there’s perhaps an impression that the universe has become more biofriendly in terms of what we think we know. But it doesn’t mean that all that habitable real estate is inhabited. That is the question. We don’t know the answer to that, but I think it’s really exciting that we are developing ways to explore our own solar system and we are developing instruments that can hopefully image some of the worlds around other stars and try to find out whether there’s any biology or technology going on there.

    GAZETTE: Do you think that will happen in your lifetime?

    TARTER: Well, let’s see. Back in 2004, [genetic scientists] Craig Venter and Daniel Cohen made a very bold prediction. They said whereas the 20th century had been the century of physics, the 21st century was going to be the century of biology. I personally think that wasn’t bold enough. I think the 21st century is going to be the century of biology on Earth and beyond. I think this will be a century when we begin to understand whether or not life has originated within the solar system more than once, and perhaps around other stars.

    GAZETTE: You talked about giving your listeners homework. My colleague mentioned to me an app that you could download to your computer that would help search for intelligent life while the machine slept.

    TARTER: That’s right. It was called SETI@home and it was developed at UC Berkeley.


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

    It runs as a background process on your computer and it really put citizen science and distributed computing on the map when it came out about 12 years ago. It didn’t invent distributed computing — people were already doing that to break codes or factor prime numbers. But it was such a sexy application that everybody grabbed it and it took off and citizen science followed in its footsteps. It’s a very large group of people who classify galaxies, who fold proteins for cancer research, who count craters on various pieces of real estate in the solar system.

    It’s still going. It processes data that has been recorded at the Arecibo and Green Bank observatories.


    NAIC Arecibo Observatory operated by University of Central Florida, Yang Enterprises and UMET, Altitude 497 m (1,631 ft).



    GBO radio telescope, Green Bank, West Virginia, USA

    GAZETTE: You famously disagreed with Stephen Hawking when he said that he feared the potentially aggressive nature of any intelligent life we might one day encounter.

    TARTER: Stephen was a brilliant man, but neither of us has any data on this point other than our own terrestrial history. My point of view is the kind of scenario that’s being posited is that they are going to show up and do us harm. Well, if they can get here, their technology is far more advanced than ours, and I don’t know how you get to be an advanced older technology and have a long history unless you outgrow the aggression that probably helped you to get smart in the first place. So, I think an old technology, if such a thing exists, is going to be stable and it’s going to have gone through the kind of cultural evolution, the kind of social evolution that [Harvard Professor] Steven Pinker talks about. So, from my point of view, if they are coming from an older technology and can get here, they don’t have bad intentions. It doesn’t mean that the interaction will be rosy, because there are often unintended consequences.

    GAZETTE: Final question: “Contact” excluded, favorite alien or space movie?

    TARTER: Oh, I like “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Harvard University campus
    Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s best known landmark.

    Harvard University has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

     
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