SETI Institute Projects and Programs (Listed Chronologically)

The Formation and Detection of Biogenic Aromatics in Dense Molecular Clouds around Embedded Protostars

Wednesday, October 15 2014 - 2:06 pm, PDT
This work involves building a database of the spectra of aromatic compounds, for use in interpreting astronomical observations and in developing instrumentation for planetary landers and probes. We are pursuing collaborations in this area with other scientists at NASA, universities, and non-profits.

Hatcreek observatory

The Allen Telescope Array

Tuesday, October 25 2011 - 9:56 am, PDT
The Allen Telescope Array (ATA) is a "Large Number of Small Dishes" (LNSD) array designed to be highly effective for “commensal” (simultaneous) surveys of conventional radio astronomy projects and SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) observations at centimeter wavelengths.

Orbital evolution of outer Solar System satellites

Thursday, September 01 2011 - 2:22 pm, PDT
This proposal focuses on the dynamics of satellites orbiting three outer Solar System objects: Jupiter, Saturn and the dwarf planet Haumea. The proposed work is divided into three main themes, each dealing with one of the above systems. In each case we use dynamical models to uncover the past of the system.

Laboratory Controlled Experiments to Investigate Coherent Backscatter from High Albedo, Atmosphereless Solar System Bodies

Tuesday, August 09 2011 - 2:15 pm, PDT
We propose to conduct a set of controlled laboratory experiments to investigate the nature of coherent backscattering from high albedo, atmosphereless solar system bodies. We propose to use artificial microparticles of well-known shape, packing, size distribution and optical properties, to test the assertion that coherent backscattering can be used as a diagnostic tool for remotely investigating physical and geophysical characteristics of high albedo atmosphereless solar system bodies.

Polar water ice clouds and dust aerosols seasonal mapping using CRISM EPF data

Thursday, July 21 2011 - 2:17 pm, PDT
We propose to use Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) emission phase function (EPF) measurements in the Martian poles (regions poleward of 55° latitude) to map dust and water ice aerosols and surface albedos as a function of season using CRISM data.

Saturn Stratospheric Hazes from Cassini Limb Images

Tuesday, June 21 2011 - 5:13 pm, PDT
We will analyze Cassini data to produce detailed haze extinction profiles for both northern and southern latitudes on Saturn down to pressure levels ~50 mbar, with methods similar to those used by Rages et al. (1999) on Galileo images of Jupiter, and with the expectation of similar results. We will perform a similar analysis of archival Voyager data to explore Saturn's southern mid-latitudes almost one saturnian year earlier. We will use this information to determine the fractal scattering properties of the stratospheric hazes, and in combination with a microphysics model including fractal aggregate hazes, to determine how and where these hazes are being produced, transported, and destroyed.

Life in the Universe

Monday, June 20 2011 - 4:17 pm, PDT
The Life in the Universe curriculum is a unique set of resources, for elementary and middle school teachers, designed to bring the excitement of searching for life beyond Earth into the classroom. The SETI Institute, with funding from NSF and NASA, developed these award winning classroom materials with a team of educators, curriculum developers, and scientists. The Life in the Universe curriculum explores many facets of how scientists are trying to answer the questions: Where did life come from? What is its future? Are we alone?

Mysteries of Science

Monday, June 20 2011 - 3:33 pm, PDT
Mysteries of Science is a national standards-based educational website for students, teachers and the general public designed to demonstrate how scientists use spectroscopy to learn about the surface composition of the cold worlds in our solar system.

ASSET Program

Monday, June 20 2011 - 3:10 pm, PDT
ASSET stands for the Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for Teachers. The 6-day workshop features a combination of cutting edge science, inquiry-based teaching and learning, and leadership skills development to support teachers and teacher trainers.

The Formation and Detection of Biogenic Aromatics in Dense Molecular Clouds around Embedded Protostars

Monday, June 13 2011 - 2:06 pm, PDT
A comprehensive theoretical and experimental study of the reactions and spectroscopy Of PAHs in H2O ices with the goal of understanding the stepwise formation of complex, prebiotic, substituted PAHs in dense cloud material in the environment associated with embedded low-mass young stellar objects.