The Breakthrough Initiative - Listen and Megastructures at KIC 8463

Adrew SImeon will give an introductory talk on 'the most Mysterious Star in the Galaxy', KIC8463. This star was located by the Kepler spacecraft operated by NASA Ames Research Center. Unlike planet candidate stars, the light curve of KIC8643 is irregular and astronomers have no clear natural cause for their observations. Andrew will discuss the possibility that we are seeing the effect of a partial Dyson sphere, or potentially the aftermath of a Wolf359 type event at this star which is 1500 light years from us.

Geology After Pluto

Jeff Moore is the lead of the New Horizons Geology Team. He will talk about the discoveries made by the New Horizons mission on the fascinating fly by of the dwarf planet Pluto.



Exoplanet spectroscopy with diffraction primary objective telescopy

When diffraction is employed as the primary collector modality of a telescope instead of reflection or refraction, a new set of performance capabilities emerges. A diffraction-based telescope forms a spectrogram first and an image as secondary data. The results are startling. In multiple object capability, the diffraction telescope on earth can capture 2 million spectra to R > 100,000 in a single night, better for a census of exoplanets by radial velocity than any prior art.

Life in the Universe — the Breakthrough Initiatives

On July 20, 2015, the 46th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced in London, UK a new initiative to study life in the universe.  The announcement was made by Silicon Valley billionaire Yuri Milner and physicist Steven Hawking.  The Breakthrough Initiatives currently consist of two primary elements, Breakthrough Listen which is a $100M renewed search for intelligent extraterrestrial signals, and Breakthrough Message, a global competition with a $1M prize to create, but not sent a message representing humanity.  S.


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