Stellar occultations of planetary rings: from Palomar to Cassini

Phil Nicholson from Cornell University gave SETI Talk on Tuesday February 07, 2017. Chance observations of stars as they pass behind planets have provided some of our most valuable data on the structure of planetary ring systems, beginning with the discovery of the uranian rings with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory in 1977.
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  • Phil Nicholson from Cornell University gave SETI Talk on Tuesday February 07, 2017. Chance observations of stars as they pass behind planets have provided some of our most valuable data on the structure of planetary ring systems, beginning with the discovery of the uranian rings with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory in 1977.

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  • Voyager and Pale Blue Dot

    In 1990, the Voyager 1 spacecraft – outbound from the solar system at four times the distance of Saturn – swung its 1500 mm telephoto lens back towards Earth, and snapped a picture.

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    Voyager and Pale Blue Dot
  • Going All to Species

    The fossilized bones of Homo naledi are may hold a special place in our ancestry: a link between us and our ape-like ancestors. Some anthropologists hail the discovery as that of a new hominid species, but not all their colleagues agree. Also, the scientist who retrieved the fossils describes her perilous crawl through a cave with only ten inches of elbow room.

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    Going All to Species
  • Christopher McKee's SETI Talk on Tuesday January 31, 2017. Stars are the atoms of the universe. The process by which stars form is at the nexus of astrophysics since they are believed to be responsible for the re-ionization of the universe...

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  • Barry Welsh's SETI Talk was on Tuesday January 23, 2017. Minor bodies such as Kuiper Belt objects, comets, and asteroids constitute the rocky and icy debris left over from the planet building phase of our solar system.

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  • Norm Sleep's SETI Talk on Tuesday January 10, 2017. Asteroid impacts were a hazard to any life on the Hadean Earth. A traditional approach to geochemical models of the asteroid impactors uses the concentration of highly siderophile elements including the Pt-group in the silicate Earth.

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  • ceres false color

    Using data primarily gathered by SOFIA, NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, a team of astronomers has detected the presence of substantial amounts of material on the surface of Ceres that appears to be fragments of other asteroids.

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    ceres false color
  • Meteor streams

    From where do meteors come? NASA is mapping meteoroid streams in a project led by SETI Institute's Peter Jenniskens. Now visualized in 3D!

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    Meteor streams
  • Dan Kammen's SETI Talk on Tuesday December 20, 2016. It has been scientifically clear for some time that the global community must decarbonize the energy and material system entirely by mid-century.

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  • George Ricker's SETI Talk on Tuesday December 13, 2016. Dr. Ricker is the PI of the TESS Mission which will explore nearby stars for exoplanets.

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News and Announcements

  Watch Nathalie Cabrol: Alien Hunter on CCTV show Full Frame
Exploration, whatever its focus, is limitless, multi-facetted, and exquisitely complex. The understanding of how and why planets evolve, whether they could have hosted habitats for life, how climate change impacts their habitability - and for Earth, its biodiversity - are questions that need to be addressed through a synergetic approach by looking at many different and complementary angles simultaneously.
  June 16 in San Rafael – Science on Screen with Dr. Pascal Lee
Dr. Pascal Lee will give an illustrated presentation about planning and preparation for the first human mission to Mars.
  Girl Scouts: Bridging at the Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridging is the biggest event of the year for Girl Scouts of Northern California. Over 6,000 girls, both local and out of state, walked across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge as they bridged from "Juniors to Cadettes" on April 30, 2016.
  Drone's Eye View of Mars
The easiest way to detect evidence of aliens is straightforward: just scrunch up your eyes and look for it.
  Congratulations to the Incoming 2016 REU Class
  April 6 - Free Public Talk on April 6 at Foothill College on How Things in the Universe Came About
  NASA Selects New Director for Astrobiology Institute
  Incoming! A Planetarium show at the California Academy of Sciences
  SETI Scientist Explains Why We Haven’t Found Aliens Yet
  Goodbye, Little Green Men

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