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By Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer and Director of SETI Research

By Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer, Director of SETI Research

Originally published on

Expedia's galaxy-wide website must be offering Earth at a major discount. In one movie after another, aliens decide to pass up competing Milky Way attractions -- including neutron stars, antimatter clouds, hot Jupiters, and a 4 billion-trillion-trillion-ton central black hole -- in favor of our planet. The small speck of rock we inhabit is more popular with tourists than Disneyland.

Universe 2014: Beyond Earth: Planets, Life, and Intelligence in the Cosmos
An Afternoon of Science & Scientific Speculation
Sponsored by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
(part of the Society’s Annual Meeting)
Sunday, August 3, 2014, 1:30 to 5:30 pm
Regency Ballroom, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Burlingame, CA
Free, with a suggested donation of $10 per person