How does life begin? How does intelligence evolve?
Are there other planets like Earth? Are we alone?
These are the questions we ask in our quest to understand and explain the origin and nature of life in the Universe. Exploration and discovery are our passion and we share our work with all humanity.
We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit scientific research institute headquartered in Mountain View, California. We are a key research contractor to NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and we collaborate with industry partners throughout Silicon Valley.
1 Institute. 3 Centers
The Carl Sagan Center for Research
Home to 75+ scientists, the Carl Sagan Center conducts grant-funded research across nearly all branches of science addressing research questions around the development of life, where else in the Universe it exists, and how we might find it. Our research is focused on six core topics:
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Climate and Geoscience
- Planetary Exploration
The Center for Education
Are we alone in the Universe? How can we search for evidence of life beyond Earth? These questions pique our curiosity and make us want to learn more. We want to inspire everyone today and in the future. The Center for Education promotes STEM education that teaches and excites children, young adults, and educators. Programs include:
- Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors Program – professional development for science teachers, including flying on NASA’s SOFIA observatory
- Reaching for the Stars – NASA Science for Girl Scouts, new space science badge and astronomy programs
- Research Experience for Undergraduates – NSF funded internship for college students
- Frontier Development Lab – NASA funded summer PhD-level research accelerator for machine learning and planetary science
The Center for Outreach
Science is not just for scientists! Sharing our research and discoveries matters. Activities include our website, social media, news stories, e-newsletter and public presentations. Big Picture Science, our weekly radio show and podcast, brings science to the public with lively and intelligent storytelling. SETI Talks is our monthly public lecture series.