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Jan. 20 Lecture Examines New Strategies: The Search for Intelligent Life Among the Stars
January 20, 2010
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7 to 8:30 p.m.
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As part of the 11th annual Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, Seth Shostak, Ph.D., of the SETI Institute, will discuss The Search for Intelligent Life Among the Stars: New Strategies, an illustrated, non-technical lecture, Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre at Foothill College. Admission is free and the public is invited. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early to locate parking. A half-century ago, astronomers began trying to "eavesdrop" for radio messages from nearby star systems. This was the start of the scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program, looking for other civilizations in the universe. The discovery of more than 400 planets around other stars--including a number super-Earths--has provided a new foundation for this search. However, today, SETI researchers continue to point their telescopes at individual stars, on the assumption that technically advanced societies will inhabit a watery world like our own. Dr. Shostak will describe these searches, but then ask a controversial question: Are these familiar--and nearby--star systems the only (or even the best) places to look for signals? He will go on to discuss some novel ideas for how we might pursue the hunt for "cosmic company" and why it's possible that we might find evidence of sophisticated intelligence out there within only a few decades. Seth Shostak is senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, and one of the best public lecturers in astronomy today. If you have never heard one of his energetic and humorous talks, you are in for a treat. He appears regularly on national radio and television programs, hosts Are We Alone?, a syndicated weekly radio show, which is broadcast locally on KALW 91.7 FM, and has written hundreds of popular magazine and Web articles. He has an undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University, and a doctorate in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology. He lectures on astronomy and other subjects at Stanford and other venues in the Bay Area, and for the last six years, has been a Distinguished Speaker for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. His most recent book is Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (National Geographic). The free lecture series is sponsored by the Foothill College Astronomy Program, NASA Ames Research CenterSETI Institute and Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Past lectures from the series are available online in MP3-format. Visitors must purchase a campus parking permit for $2. Parking lots 1, 7 and 8 provide stair and no-stair access to the theatre. For more information, access www.foothill.edu or call (650) 949-7888.
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Special Notice: Admission is free; parking is $2. Arrive early to find parking and seating.

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