Recently in the SETI Category


Tom Pierson

SETI Institute Founding CEO Tom Pierson has left our planet. Learn more about his life here. Ad Astra, Tom.

John Billingham

Keith's note: NASA sources report that John Billingham has passed away. John ran the SETI Program Office when NASA used to do SETI. He also ran life science at NASA Ames.

Until recently, one of the ultimate mysteries of the universe -- how many civilizations may exist on planets orbiting other stars in the Milky Way Galaxy -- relied on the possibility of detecting intelligent beings by radio signals. Now a team of astronomers, engineers, and physicists from the University of Hawaii, the University of Freiburg, and elsewhere has proposed a new and powerful technique to search for intelligent life.

Survey: Life Exists On Other Planets

58% Believe Life Exists On Other Planets, Rasmussenreports.com

Survey of 1,000 Adults

* 58% of American Adults think it's at least somewhat likely life exists on other planets; 34% do not believe it's likely
* That number includes 33% who say it's Very Likely life exists outside of Earth and 8% who believe it's Not At All Likely
* 49% say it's likely that a human will walk on Mars in the next 25 years, down slightly from December 2006
* 42% think it's unlikely a human will make it to Mars, that includes 20% who say it's Very Likely and 8% who believe it's Not At All Likely

Budget crunch mothballs telescopes built to search for alien signals, Scientific American

"The hunt for extraterrestrial life just lost one of its best tools. The Allen Telescope Array (ATA), a field of radio dishes in rural northern California built to seek out transmissions from distant alien civilizations, has been shuttered, at least temporarily, as its operators scramble to find a way to continue to fund it. In an April 22 letter to donors, Tom Pierson, CEO of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., explained that the ATA has been put into "hibernation," meaning that "starting this week, the equipment is unavailable for normal observations and is being maintained in a safe state by a significantly reduced staff." The ATA is a partnership between the SETI Institute, which is responsible for building the telescope array, and the University of California, Berkeley, which is responsible for operating it."

July 17, 2011
Barcelona, Spain

When speaking of AI in space the first thing that usually comes to most people's mind are science-fiction creations such as HAL 9000, C3PO and the like. Certainly that vision is still far away, nevertheless methods rooted in AI research constantly find more and more exciting applications in areas related to space engineering. For example, we have just recently witnessed the increase in intelligent behaviour implemented on board the two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, that are still exploring the martian surface on our behalf. This workshop, co-organized by the Advanced Concepts Team (www.esa.int/act) of the European Space Agency and the Artificial Intelligence Group (http://www-aig.jpl.nasa.gov/) of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is meant to look at the most recent applications and advances related to artificial intelligence and space, reviewing the current state of the dialogue between the two domains and discussing it's perspectives.

USC and SETI Institute Team Up

An affiliation between the University of Southern California and the SETI Institute will create formal ties between one of America's premier research universities and one of the most innovative and highly regarded scientific research institutions.

Announced today by USC and the SETI Institute, the affiliation joins a leading private university and a unique research institute pursuing the study of the living universe. This affiliation significantly heightens USC's profile in astronomy and astrobiology and establishes a strong research and education presence in Silicon Valley for the university. The affiliation is effective immediately.

We have used the Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov Effect Experiment (STACEE) high-energy gamma-ray detector to look for fast blue-green laser pulses from the vicinity of 187 stars. The STACEE detector offers unprecedented light-collecting capability for the detection of nanosecond pulses from such lasers. We estimate STACEE's sensitivity to be approximately 10photons/m2 at a wavelength of 420nm.

This amendment explicitly includes the search for extrasolar planets that may harbor intelligent life within the scope of the Origins of Solar Systems program.

The first paragraph of Section 1 is amended to state that, "These investigations may involve ... the detection and characterization of other planetary systems including those that may harbor intelligent life." The second paragraph of Section 1 is amended to include the following as one of the categories that Origins of Solar Systems proposals should fall into: "Investigations to identify and characterize signal characteristics and/or observable properties of extrasolar planets which may distinguish planetary systems with intelligent life."

On or about February 29, 2008, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement "Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2008" (NNH08ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ (select "Solicitations" then "Open Solicitations" then "NNH08ZDA001N").

Further information about this program element is available from Dr. Zlatan Tsvetanov, Astrophysics Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA, Washington, DC 20546; Telephone: (202) 358-0810; E-mail: Zlatan.Tsvetanov@nasa.gov.

This past summer, NAI participated in organizing a special weekend workshop held at NASA Ames Research Center entitled "The Future of Intelligence in the Cosmos." The workshop brought together internationally renown scientists and thinkers to explore potential scenarios for the evolution of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy. The talks were organized into sessions including The Fermi Paradox, Cultural Evolution, The Nature of Intelligence, and Technological Evolution, followed by several breakout sessions. The proceedings are now available for download at: http://event.arc.nasa.gov/main/home/reports/CP2007-214567_Langhoff.pdf

[Source: NAI newsletter]