SETI Institute Projects and Programs (Listed Chronologically)

Studies of Atomic and Molecular Opacity in Astrophysical Environments and the Application of Computer Modeling of Brown Dwarfs and Extra Solar Planets

Thursday, July 24 2008 - 9:47 am, PDT
Contribution to the creation of detailed models of brown dwarfs and extra solar planets, in particular atomic and molecular opacity and the continued development of computer modeling.

sugar model

Prebiotic Synthesis of Autocatalytic and Self-Replicating Molecules from Sugars as the Primary Carbon Source

Monday, June 30 2008 - 2:19 pm, PDT
A study of the chemical processes on the primitive Earth that generated the first autocatalytic molecules and microstructures involved in the origin of life.

Evolution and Dispersal of Protoplanetary Gas Disks

Monday, June 30 2008 - 9:49 am, PDT
An analysis of how planetary disks evolve and their capacity to form planets, including a method for estimating disk lifetimes. We thus determine the range of stellar and disk properties that are conducive to the formation of planetary systems, and therefore, to the origin of life.

Detection of Extrasolar Planets Around Eclipsing Binaries in the Kepler Field

Thursday, May 22 2008 - 10:54 am, PDT
About 350 eclipsing binary stars may be found in the NASA Kepler Mission field of view (FOV). We have developed two methods for the discovery of planets around eclipsing binaries -- a matching filter to look at quasi-periodic transit features indicative of a planet in transit across the two moving stars in the background, and a second method using timing of the stellar eclipse minima themselves to see if the stars are being offset by giant planets farther out around a binary-planet barycenter.

An Experimental Study of the Generation and Enantiomeric Enrichment of Sugars and Amino Acids in Cometary Impacts

Monday, May 19 2008 - 2:52 pm, PDT
A study of how comets deliver sugars and amino acids to planets to further our understanding of the events that may have led to the origin of life.

Mars Surface Processes, Exploration and Educational Outreach

Monday, May 19 2008 - 9:58 am, PDT
This project provides support for selecting the Mars landing site, the HiRISE team, and the GFA project.

Properties of Saturn's Ring Particles from Occultations and Thermal Observations

Tuesday, May 13 2008 - 10:21 am, PDT
Analysis of Cassini data regarding Saturn’s main rings to further develop modeling of ring optical thickness and advance our understanding of how particle properties affect the evolution of the ring system.


Planetary Science and Exploration Investigations in Terrestrial Analog Environments

Wednesday, May 07 2008 - 10:53 am, PDT
The investigation of physical, chemical, geologic, hydrologic, and microbiologic features, settings, and processes in extreme environments on Earth that may serve as analogs for extraterrestrial planetary environments.

An Automated Meteoroid Orbit Survey to Measure the Fragmentation History of (Mostly) Dormant Comets in the Near Earth Orbit Population

Tuesday, May 06 2008 - 10:19 am, PDT
Testing of the hypothesis that the disintegration of dormant comets is the dominant contribution of dust to the zodiacal cloud.

Deep Water Microbialites in a Perennially Ice-covered Lake: a Key to Interpreting Ancient Microbialite Morphology

Monday, May 05 2008 - 2:50 pm, PDT
An interdisciplinary study of deep water microbialites in an Antarctic lake to further our knowledge of the limits at which life as we know it can exist.