SETI Talks

Thursday, October 26 2017 - 7:00 pm, PDT

The Anthropocene: What Now?

David Grinspoon
Planetary Science Institute

 

At SRI International Conference Center, Menlo Park, CA

david grinspoon

The last officially recognized epoch on Earth, the Holocene, began at the end of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. Now, climate change, and in particular humanity’s impact on climate change, has led to the suggestion that we are already in a new epoch, the Anthropocene.

David’s most recent book, Earth in Human Hands, was named Best Science Book of 2016 by NPR’s Science Friday, explores how we can take on the possibly existential threat to life on Earth and consciously shape our planet’s future.

David’s research focuses on climate evolution on Earth-like planets and potential conditions for life elsewhere. He is involved with several interplanetary spacecraft missions. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress where he studied the human impact on Earth systems and organized a public symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization. His papers have been published in Nature, Science, and numerous other journals, and his popular writing has appeared in many newspapers and magazines. David has been the recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for Public Communication of Planetary Science by the American Astronomical Society. He appears frequently as a science commentator on television, radio and podcasts, included as a regular host of StarTalk All Stars. He is also a musician and currently leads House Band of the Universe.

Following David’s presentation, he will be joined by SETI Institute Senior Astronomer and host of the Big Picture Science radio show and podcast, Seth Shostak.

There is no charge to attend this event, but registration is required and capacity is limited.

Eventbrite - SETI Talks Presents The Anthropocene: What Now?


Wednesday, November 29 2017 - 7:00 pm, PST

Kepler, K2, and Beyond: The Era of Exoplanets Has Arrived!

BAER Institute / NASA Ames
SETI Institute / NASA Ames,

 

At SRI International Conference Center, Menlo Park, CA

kepler k2

Jeff Coughlin, K2/Kepler Science Office Director, SETI Institute / NASA Ames
Geert Barentsen, K2/Kepler Guest Observer Office Director, BAER Institute / NASA Ames

Wednesday, November 29, 2017, 7 PM PDT
SRI International Conference Center, Menlo Park, CA

Presented by the SETI Institute and SRI

NASA’s Kepler space telescope was launched in 2009 and measured the brightness of 200,000 stars at unprecedented precision for over four years, with the prime mission goal of detecting Earth-sized exoplanets. Now after another four, Kepler’s final planet catalog is complete --- over 4,000 planet candidates have been found, with 50 of them possibly rocky and capable of having liquid water. For the first time in human history, we can calculate how common planets the same size and temperature as Earth are, a key component to SETI’s goal of figuring out how common life may be in the universe.

The K2 mission began three years ago, and uses the Kepler spacecraft to stare at many different parts of the sky for 80 days at a time. A broad portion of the Astronomical community chooses what targets to observe, resulting in a wide variety of science, including supernovae, galaxies, stars, and of course exoplanets. K2 has found over 300 confirmed exoplanets and an additional 500 candidates. Some of these are likely to be habitable, and many of them are prime targets to be observed by future missions, such as the James Webb space telescope. We'll discuss what we may learn about these worlds over the next few decades, and what future missions are being planned to find planets to which our descendants may one day travel.

Eventbrite - Kepler, K2, and Beyond: The Era of Exoplanets Has Arrived!