By tradition, the moons of Pluto have names associated with Hades and the underworld. Beginning today, people can vote by visiting:
Voting ends at noon EST on Monday, February 25th, 2013.
“The Greeks were great storytellers and they have given us a colorful cast of characters to work with,” said Mark Showalter, Senior Research Scientist at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. He and the teams of astronomers who made the discoveries will select two names based on the outcome of the voting.
Full Story: http://www.seti.org/node/1592
Uwingu Begins Funding Research Ahead Of Schedule Via Crowd Funding: SETI Allen Telecope Array Chosen
UwinguTM, LLC and the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array (ATA) designed to search out extraterrestrial life, together announced today that the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array’s science team will be the first project funded by Uwingu, via its crowd-sourcing IndieGoGo campaign. Uwingu will donate half of all “bonus” funds above its $75K business launch target to the ATA.
“We don’t have to wait to begin helping space research until we launch our first product, we’re starting now!” said Uwingu CEO, Dr. Alan Stern. “And I can’t overstate how proud Uwingu is to have the SETI Institute’s ATA as a beneficiary of our IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign. SETI is one of the noblest and most important space research enterprises. We hope this will be a double-win—generating more funds available to launch our own commercial products, and more funds available to the ATA’s research teams.”
Mountain View, California –The creative minds who fill movies and TV shows with angry aliens will soon be defending their vision of these extraterrestrial antagonists at SETIcon, a public event sponsored by the SETI Institute. The Institute is known for its science-based search for radio signals that would betray the existence of intelligent beings on distant worlds. SETIcon will take place June 22 through 24 in the heart of the Silicon Valley, and will feature a celebrity banquet honoring Jill Tarter who, for the last 35 years, has led the search for extraterrestrial intelligence at the SETI Institute.
Astronomy professor Geoff Marcy has been appointed the next Watson and Marilyn Alberts Chair in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). The Alberts, who have long held an interest in SETI-related research, established the chair in 1998. It is the first-ever endowed chair that supports the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. “This chair ensures that SETI research will continue to be vigorously pursued at Berkeley, inspiring future generations of scientists to advance the field,” states Watson Alberts.
“It is a great honor to be appointed to the Alberts Chair,” says Marcy, a leading astrophysicist in the detection and characterization of exoplanets. “The discovery of extrasolar planets has spawned the search for Earth-like, habitable worlds and for life in the universe. Our recent discoveries will inevitably lead us to more SETI-related work as we find increasing numbers of potentially habitable planets. It is an extremely exciting time to be in this field.”
The Allen Telescope Array (ATA) is once again searching planetary systems for signals that would be evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Among its first targets are some of the exoplanet candidates recently discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope.
“This is a superb opportunity for SETI observations,” said Jill Tarter, the Director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute. “For the first time, we can point our telescopes at stars, and know that those stars actually host planetary systems — including at least one that begins to approximate an Earth analog in the habitable zone around its host star. That’s the type of world that might be home to a civilization capable of building radio transmitters.”
The ATA had been placed in hibernation mode last April as the result of the withdrawal of the SETI Institute’s former partner, U.C. Berkeley, due to budgetary shortfalls. Berkeley was the operator of the Hat Creek Observatory in northern California where the ATA is located. With new funding recently acquired for observatory operations, the ATA can resume SETI observations where it left off: examining the thousands of new candidate planets found by Kepler. Highest priority will be given to the handful of worlds discovered so far that are located in their star’s habitable zone: the range of orbital radii where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist. Most astrobiologists consider that liquid water is the sine qua non for life.
Full Story: http://astronews.us/2011-12-05-1246.html
In the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, astronomers have hunted for radio signals and ultra-short laser pulses. In a new paper, Avi Loeb (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and Edwin Turner (Princeton University) suggest a new technique for finding aliens: look for their city lights. “Looking for alien cities would be a long shot, but wouldn’t require extra resources. And if we succeed, it would change our perception of our place in the universe,” said Loeb.
As with other SETI methods, they rely on the assumption that aliens would use Earth-like technologies. This is reasonable because any intelligent life that evolved in the light from its nearest star is likely to have artificial illumination that switches on during the hours of darkness.
How easy would it be to spot a city on a distant planet? Clearly, this light will have to be distinguished from the glare from the parent star. Loeb and Turner suggest looking at the change in light from an exoplanet as it moves around its star.