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SETI Institute Activity Report: 1st Quarter 2020

SETI Institute Activity Report: 1st Quarter 2020

Planet Wearing Mask

For most people in the United States, 2020 began as a fairly normal year. COVID-19 had not yet been declared a pandemic and throughout most of the country, the impacts of the disease were not yet being felt. While this all changed late in the first quarter of 2020, activities at the SETI Institute did not begin to be fully impacted until the latter half of March.

Much of the work detailed in this activity report was completed or well underway before “shelter-in-place” orders were put in place. More than 100 scientists at the SETI Institute continued their quest to explore, understand and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe the evolution of intelligence. They continued to conduct groundbreaking research, attended scientific conferences, published papers in peer-reviewed journals, offered public lectures, participated in interviews with popular media outlets, engaged with social media, and taught, both formally and informally to share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of scientists and explorers.

While the landscape has changed now, here are some highlights from the first three months of 2020:

Peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals such as:

Conference abstracts and proceedings such as:

Technical reports and data releases including:

  • Changing Planetary Environments and the Fingerprints of Life, Year 5 Report (Nathalie Cabrol and the SETI Institute NAI Team)
  • PDS4 Rings Dictionary, Version (Mitchell Gordon)
  • Proceedings of the 3rd COSPAR Meeting on Refining Planetary Protection Requirements for Human Missions, and Working Meeting on Microbial and Human Health Monitoring (Margaret Race and Andrew Spry)

Media stories including:

Professional and public talks including:

  • The Physics and Chemistry of determining Protoplanetary Disk Masses (Uma Gorti, SOFIA Colloquium speaker NASA Ames)
  • Address to the United Nations for International Day of Girls and Women in Science (Nathalie Cabrol)
  • Coronal Dimming as a Proxy for Stellar Coronal Mass Ejections (Meng Jin, Coronal dimming workshop at Kanzelhohe Observatory)

Contributions to ongoing and planned missions:

  • Mission support to the NASA Office of Planetary Protection for New Horizons, ISIRIS-Rex, Parker Solar Probe, ARTEMIS, InSight, MarCO, Solar Orbiter, EM1, EM2 secondary payloads and Psyche (Andrew Spry)
  • NASA Mars 2020 rover mission science team member and ExoMars 2020 rover mission science team member (Pablo Sobron)
  • Development of observation plans for James Webb Space Telescope (Matthew Tiscareno and Mark Showalter)

Learn more and download the full report here.

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