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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