News and Events April 9, 2014


David BlackDear SETI Enthusiast,

As a long time collaborator with the SETI Institute we have appreciated your dedication and support of the Institute's scientific research, education and outreach programs. Together we have celebrated many exciting discoveries that you helped make possible. It is with great pleasure that I am able to share with you, the appointment of a new leader at the SETI Institute!

After an extensive search, with many talented candidates, Dr. David Black was chosen as our new President and Chief Executive Officer. David, who is President Emeritus of the Universities Space Research Association and a Visiting Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, is a widely recognized researcher in the fields of star and planet formation, and the search for exoplanets. David also served as the Chief Scientist for the Space Station and Deputy Chief for the Space Science Division at NASA Ames Research Center. He has chaired numerous advisory committees for NASA and the National Science Foundation.

Perhaps most important of all, David demonstrated a sincere and passionate interest in developing a productive and ongoing conversation between the SETI Institute and our loyal constituency.

We look forward to creating opportunities for you to communicate your ideas directly to our new President and CEO. If you would like to schedule a meet and greet or phone call, please contact Karen Randall at or 650 575-2229.

Pierre Schwob
Board of Trustees
SETI Institute



kepler space telescopeTowards Improved Occurrence Rates of Exoplanets: The Properties of Stars Observed by Kepler
SETI Institute researcher, Daniel Huber presents current efforts to improve our understanding of fundamental properties of Kepler target stars and their planets, in particular using the technique of asteroseismology.

Big Picture ScienceBig Picture Science Radio Show - Skeptic Check: Evolutionary Arms Race
Find out how nasty viruses and bacteria take full advantage of evolution to make you sick.

GPIThe orbit of the exoplanet Beta Pictoris b - The first peer-reviewed article with GPI
Following our very successful first light observing runs in late 2013, the first publication based on Gemini Planet Imager observations is now complete!

csc-lpscCarl Sagan Center Scientists at the 45th LPSC
The 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference was recently held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, The Woodlands, Texas, March 17–21, 2014.

spitzer space telescopeApril 16 Lecture - Lifting the Cosmic Veil: Highlights from a Decade of the Spitzer Space Telescope
On Wednesday, April 16th, 2014, at 7 pm, Dr. Michael Bicay (of NASA's Ames Research Center) will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk on highlights from a Decade of the Spitzer Space Telescope.


Upcoming Lecture

On Wednesday, April 16th, 2014, at 7 pm, Dr. Michael Bicay (of NASA's Ames Research Center) will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk on:

Lifting the Cosmic Veil: Highlights from a Decade of the Spitzer Space Telescope

in the Smithwick Theater at Foothill College, in Los Altos.

The talk is part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, now in its 14th year.

As the infrared cousin to Hubble, the Spitzer Space Telescope was launched in 2003 to study the cool universe with waves that are invisible to the human eye. It was designed to probe the birth and youth of stars and planetary disks, and to observe some of the most distant objects in the Universe. However, Spitzer's ultimate legacy may be in an area completely unanticipated when the mission was originally envisioned — the study of planets orbiting other stars. Dr. Bicay will describe the long and winding road leading to Spitzer's launch, and present highlights from the mission's remarkable first decade of discovery.

Dr. Michael Bicay is the Director of Science at NASA's Ames Research Center, leading more than 400 scientists and technical staff conducting research in space, earth and biological science. His PhD is in Applied Physics from Stanford University and his research interests include the properties and contents of galaxies and galaxy clusters, as well as the large-scale structure in the universe. Before coming to Ames, he was on the scientific staff of Caltech's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center and was a Program Scientists at NASA Headquarters. While in Washington, he also served as an astrophysics consultant to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. After returning to Pasadena in 1996, he was a member of the science staff and scientific community liaison for the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Foothill College is just off the El Monte Road exit from Freeway 280 in Los Altos.
For directions and parking information, see:
For a campus map, see:

The lecture is co-sponsored by:
* The SETI Institute
* NASA Ames Research Center
* The Foothill College Astronomy Program
* The Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

We expect large crowds, so we ask people to try to arrive a little bit early to find parking. The lecture is free, but there is a charge of $3 for parking on campus and exact change is appreciated.

Past lectures can be viewed on our YouTube channel at: