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SETI Institute In the News: May Roundup

SETI Institute In the News: May Roundup


The SETI Institute frequently appears in news stories due to its essential contributions to space science and exploration.

Dive into our May roundup, a collection of highlighted articles from different sources that illustrate the wide range of fields in which our scientists are excelling.

Join us as we explore the possibilities of dusty quasars masquerading as Dyson Sphere candidates, stargaze at a medieval castle at the Starmus Festival in Slovakia, and celebrate Frank Marchis at our annual Drake Awards ceremony!



Hot DOG’s in the Sky?

Scientists searching for Dyson Spheres thought they had found 7 promising candidates. It turns out they might be dust leftovers from planet formation or simply dust from distant galaxies. To confirm, Ann Marie Cody, an astronomer from the SETI Institute has conducted her own Dyson swarm search, using NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) telescope to look for unusual dips in starlight that could be caused by a massive object, like a Dyson Swarm, transiting the star. Initial research suggests the candidates may be Hot DOG’s, hot dust-obscured galaxies. So far, the results are inconclusive and Cody’s team continues about a thousand events.



Stargazing Under the City Lights: SETI Institute at Starmus

The seventh Starmus Festival, a science festival that celebrates stars and music, took place May 12-17 in Bratislava, Slovakia. The festival featured talks by scientists, artists, and astronauts on a variety of topics, including climate change, artificial intelligence, and space exploration. The second day of the festival ended with a star party put on at Devin Castle, a magnificent medieval castle befitting of the majestic event. Two dozen or so telescopes were on hand, the outing organized in part by Scott Roberts of Explore Scientific and Franck Marchis of the SETI Institute and Unistellar, which gave hundreds of participants great views of the cosmos.



Franck Marchis receives 2024 Carl Sagan Center Director’s Award at Drake Awards Ceremony

The SETI Institute recently held its annual Drake Awards Event on May 16 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.. Dr. Franck Marchis, SETI Institute planetary astronomer,received the prestigious Carl Sagan Center Director's Award for his exceptional contributions to exoplanet research and science education. The evening also recognized Reed Spurling with the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Award of Excellence, for their outstanding research and statistical analysis on Mars’ ancient craters during the SETI Institute's summer internship program.


Astronomers Probe Deep-Space Time Capsules

SETI Institute's Orkan Umurhan co-authored a study revealing that icy objects in the solar system's far reaches might hold onto ancient ice for billions of years. This new finding challenges prior assumptions that these ices would be long lost and suggests instead that these deep-space objects act more like deep freezes, preserving volatile ices from the dawn of the solar system. Insights from this research could influence future space missions’ strategies for collecting and analyzing these primitive celestial bodies which could deepen our understanding of the solar system and indeed, life itself.




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