Outreach

SETI Institute

Welcome to our new website

If you’ve visited us before, you probably notice our new look. We hope that you’ll be as inspired by the universe as we are. We are passionate about discovery and exploration, and we’re excited to share our quest with everyone. We’ve redesigned the site with our visitors in mind. Our hope is that it will be easier to learn about and explore all that is going on at the SETI Institute – from…
Kepler 69

Could space aliens on hefty super-Earths be trapped by their own gravity?

Here’s a problem that probably hasn’t occurred to you: A lot of space aliens might have difficulty becoming a spacefaring species. Michael Hippke, an affiliate at Germany’s Sonnenberg Observatory, explains the problem in a new paper. It’s because most of the exoplanets we think would be suitable for spawning intelligent beings are larger than Earth. They’re “super-Earths,” with diameters that…
NOVA Wonders

Are We Alone? PBS’s NOVA Wonders.

Here at the SETI Institute we ask this question a lot. But we’re not the only ones who want to know. On Wednesday, May 9, 2018, PBS’s NOVA Wonders will explore humanity’s quest to answer this question. Chair Emeritus for SETI Research Jill Tarter will offer her insights into the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and share some of the science that is helping us understand our place in the…
Explorer Magazine

Delve into a Year of Discovery with Explorer

2017 was a pretty incredible year, and for the SETI Institute it was out of this world. Really. The new issue of Explorer Magazine highlights some of the groundbreaking work that happens at the SETI Institute every day. From working on NASA missions such as Cassini to developing space science badges for the Girl Scouts of America to engineering new ways to search for signals from…
space station

Presentations for the NASA’s 2017 Space Radiation Workshop Co-Sponsored by the SETI Institute Available Now

Last November, the SETI Institute co-sponsored NASA’s 2017 Space Radiation Workshop which was held at NASA Ames Research Center to explore ways to enable data-rich characterization, forecasting, and monitoring of space radiation environments. Madhulika (Lika) Guhathatkurta, who is the Lead Program Scientist for New Initiatives, Exploration Technology Directorate at NASA Headquarters, organized…
Mars landscape

SETI Institute Activity Report January – March 2018

2018 has been a whirlwind at the SETI Institute already. SETI Institute researchers published in 49 peer-reviewed scientific journals (including Astrobiology, The Astrophysical Journal, Nature Astronomy, and Icarus), contributed 78 conference proceedings and abstracts and participated in 52 public talks, interviews and media stories. The SETI Institute also hosted the Decoding Alien Intelligence…
Oumuamua

Is this mysterious space rock actually an alien spaceship?

It’s in the news because people want to know if it’s a rock or a rocket. The “it” in question is a weirdly oblong asteroid that goes by the barely pronounceable moniker 'Oumuamua. It was first seen about a month ago by Pan-STARRS, a collection of telescopes perched high above the handsome beaches of the Hawaiian island of Maui. Like a motorcycle on the freeway, it was observed by astronomers…
Gorilla

What can a fake gorilla teach us about the search for space aliens?

It seems there’s a bit of consternation over the fact that our six-decade effort to find extraterrestrial intelligence hasn’t paid off. What’s wrong? Why haven’t we seen even the slightest sign of other cosmic inhabitants? The scientists involved in the search have a straightforward answer: We haven’t looked long enough — or hard enough. That makes sense. But some folks have another take: Maybe…
Green Bank Telescope

FRB 121102: Radio Calling Cards from a Distant Civilization?

It’s a signal that begs for superlatives.  The Breakthrough Listen project recently announced the detection of 15 pulses of radio energy from an object known to the astronomy community as FRB 121102. There have been roughly 30 fast radio bursters (FRBs) detected so far, but FRB 121102 is the only one that has erupted more than once.  Repetition is a boon for those trying to unravel the nature of…
Enrico Fermi

Where in the Worlds has SETI Institute Been? Apr 23 - 29, 2018

Asking the Big Questions The recent release of “James Cameron’s Story of Sci-Fi” on AMC has reinvigorated public interest in the big questions that tantalize the imaginations of science-fiction writers and scientists alike. These questions – what is possible, what is out there, and are we alone? – are anything but fantasy for the SETI Institute, whose mission is to explore, understand, and…