Carl Sagan Center Activity Report December 2017

Even during the busy holiday season, the work of the SETI Institute pushed forward. Scientists and researchers published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at scientific conferences and other professional events, and marked milestones in their research. In addition, they worked hard to share their learning with the public, through articles and interviews with the popular press, through public talks, and through the SETI Institute’s website, social media channels, and our radio show and podcast, Big Picture Science. You can download the whole December 2017 activity report here. Here are some highlights:

Carl Sagan Center for Research

  • Peer reviewed articles published or accepted for publication include:
    • The 13th Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey: First Spectroscopic Data from the SDSS-IV Survey Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory (Astrophysical Journal, co-author Daniel Huber)
    • Large Interstellar Polarisation Survey (LIPS). I. FORS2 Spectropolarimetry in the Southern Hemisphere (Astronomy & Astrophysics, co-author Jan Cami)
    • The coevolution of life & environment on Mars: An ecosystem perspective on the robotic exploration of biosignatures (Astrobiology, Nathalie Cabrol)
    • Antarctic environments as models of planetary habitats: University Valley as a model for modern Mars and Lake Untersee as a model for Enceladus and ancient Mars (The Polar Journal, co-author Dale Andersen)
    • Evidence that the Directly-Imaged Planet HD 131399 Ab is a Background Star (The Astronomical Journal, co-author Franck Marchis)
    • The Global Color of Pluto from New Horizons (Astronomical Journal, co-author Cristina Dalle Ore)
    • Data Processing Pipeline for Herschel HIFI (Astronomy & Astrophysics, co-author Steven Lord)
    • See report for more.
  • The work of SETI Institute scientists has been or will be featured at several important scientific conferences and events including:

    • American Geophysical Union (December 2017 –Paul Estrada, Pamela Harman, Franck Marchis, Michell Gordon, Pablo Sobron, Matt Tiscareno
    • See report for more.
  • Nathalie Cabrol and the SETI Institute NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) team submitted their 2017 executive summary report to NAI Central
  • Other significant highlights include:
    • Dale Andersen has been conducting field research in Antarctica since October
    • Nathalie Cabrol has co-edited a new book with Edmond Grin, Habitability to Life on Mars which is now at press
    • Matthew Tiscareno will be the co-chair of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2018 meeting of the AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy
    • See report for more.

Center for Education

  • Dana Backman presented about the NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors at the AGU conference in New Orleans in December
  • Pamela Harman presented about the Girl Scouts Reaching for the Stars program at the AGU conference in New Orleans in December
  • See report for more.

 Center for Outreach 

    • Popular Publications (print and digital)
      • Dale Andersen has been posting updates on his Antarctic expedition on Astrobiology.com
      • Nathalie Cabrol had her Astrobiology article about coevolution of life and environment on Mars featured on Phys.org
      • Paul Estrada was interviewed by Science about his AGU poster on Saturn’s rings, origin and age
      • See report for more.
    • TV, Podcasts, Multimedia
      • KCBS Radio: Frontier Worlds campaign (Mark Showalter interview)
    • Public Presentations
      • Seth Shostak offered talks in Alabama and San Francisco
      • Matthew Tiscareno has several upcoming talks in Los Angeles and in the San Francisco Bay Area
      • See report for more.

Facebook Live

  • Laser SETI – Eliot Gillum
  • Live from AGU – Franck Marchis, Susan Thompson, Douglas Caldwell