Sniffing Alien Atmospheres: Exoplanet spectrophotometry

Dr. Angerhausen will give a short introduction to the science of extrasolar planets, in particular the technique of transit, eclipse and phasecurve spectro-photometry.  He will describe his various projects in this emerging field using state of the art spectroscopic and photometric instruments on the largest ground based telescopes, the 'flying telescope' SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) and the Kepler and Hubble space telescopes.


Charon: Pluto's Fascinating moon from New Horizons

Charon is Pluto's large companion, and last summer it went from a distant point of light to a full-fledged world in human understanding. Join us as we discuss the interesting fractured geology of Charon. Dr. Ross Beyer, member of the New Horizons team and a Research Scientist at the SETI Institute will take you on a tour of the canyons, faults, craters, smooth plains, enigmatic mountains, and all manner of terrains that New Horizons observed as it flew through the Pluto system.


When Will We Find Life Beyond Earth?

Panel: Nathalie Cabrol, Seth Shostak, Mark Showalter, Fergal Mullaly – SETI Institute

Is this the generation that will discover extraterrestrial life?  Some scientists have opined that we’ll find other living beings – whether they be microbes on other planets or intelligent beings in another star system – within two decades.  An energetic panel of SETI Institute astrobiologists will discuss why both science and technology give support to the idea that we may soon prove that Earth is not the only world where life has arisen. Audience Q&A follows panelists.

Orbital Dynamics Suggests A Recent Formation of Saturn's Moons

The age of Saturn's rings and the source of Enceladus's hydrothermal energy have been hotly debated topics for years. Recently the age of Saturn's moons interior to Titan, previously thought to be as old as Saturn, also became actively debated. I will show how computer simulations of the past orbital dynamics of Saturn's moons Tethys, Dione and Rhea can tell us how long they have been around. It appears that the inner moons and rings of Saturn are only about 100 million years, equivalent to the Cretaceous period on Earth.

Moon Express 2017 - A Private Lunar Mission Enabling Science & Commerce

The health of our home planet and the survival of our species will only be secured through the use of space resources and the expansion of Earth's economic sphere to the Moon and beyond. Creating an off-Earth economy and multi-planet civilization will safeguard the long term prospects of humanity.

SETI and the Computational Universe

Dr Stephen Wolfram, founder & CEO of Wolfram Research, and creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha and the Wolfram Language will come to the SETI Institute to discuss his latest thinking about the relation between searching for complex behavior in the computational universe of simple programs, using this in creating AI, and searching for intelligence elsewhere in our physical universe.


Quantum mechanics at the macroscopic scale

Quantum mechanics is a foundation of physics, chemistry and materials science.  Still, there is an ongoing debate about the emergence of the classical, macroscopic world from the well-understood microscopic world of quantum mechanics.  We contribute to this discourse by demonstrating quantum superposition of massive particles at the distance (0.5 m) and time scales (2 s) of everyday life, thereby advancing the state-of-the-art of atom de Broglie wave interferometry by nearly two orders of magnitude [1].   In addition to testing a cent

400 years of Planetary Cartography - mapping channels on Mars

Since Galileo, astronomers and planetary scientists work hard to draw accurate representations of planetary surfaces. Planetary mapping today is a tool of geological investigation, landing site selection and also a visual statement of our ever expanding horizon of discovery. From copper engravings to dynamic online maps, the technique of presenting planetary maps changed a lot.

But What About the Stellar Occultation Data of Pluto's Atmosphere?

Before the flyby of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, one of the major sources of data about Pluto's atmosphere was ground-based observational data of light intensity as Pluto moved in front of a background star.  From these data the temperature of Pluto's atmosphere as a function of altitude was derived using various techniques.  These techniques rely on knowledge of the vertical temperature structure of Pluto's atmosphere before doing the calculation from light intensity to temperature, the very property that is being sought.  Here I will make the distinction between the "inverse problem" a


Subscribe to RSS - Astrobiology