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Are you living in a simulation?

virtual lake landscapeAbstract: Philosophers have long considered the possibility that we live in an artificial or simulated reality. Dr. Beane will give a short overview of some of the simulation arguments/scenarios that he personally finds most compelling.

Rise of the Machines: Mining the Kepler Data for Astrobiology

Kepler space telescopeAbstract: Since its launch in 2009, NASA's Kepler Mission has transformed our knowledge of exoplanetary system demographics. Kepler's primary mission goal-- to quantify the occurrence rate of habitable zone Earth-size planets around Sun-like stars-- has a clear connection to astrobiology.

Our Galactic Center

milky way galaxy illustrationAbstract: Evidence has been accumulating for several decades that many galaxies harbor central mass concentrations that may be in the form of black holes with masses between a few million to a few billion time the mass of the Sun.

The Diversity of Habitable Zones and the Planets

habitable zoneThe field of exoplanets has rapidly expanded from the exclusivity of exoplanet detection to include exoplanet characterization. A key step towards this characterization is the determination of which planets occupy the Habitable Zone (HZ) of their host stars. As the Kepler data continues to be processed, the orbital period sensitivity is increasing and there are now numerous exoplanets known to occupy the HZ of their host stars. In this talk Dr.

Khayyam: A Tunable Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometer for Broadband Observation of Diffuse Emission Line Targets

Shane telescope at Lick ObservatoryAbstract: Sona Hosseini will report on progress toward development of a tunable spatial heterodyne spectrometer (TSHS) at the fixed focus of the Coudé Auxiliary Telescope (CAT) in the Shane Telescope at Lick Observatory (Khayyam).

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