Photo by Tama Leaver via FlickrI had the pleasure of attending SETIcon last year, a weekend in mid-August focused both on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, astronomy and modern day science fiction. While there’s no indication that SETIcon will be happening this year, SETI is organizing “Celebrate Science”, an interactive family science fair on July 23rd at their Mountain View campus.
If, like me, you have traditionally though of SETI as an organization that searches for little green men, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that SETI’s goals, projects and objectives have a significant impact on modern day science. “Celebrate Science” sounds like a great opportunities for families to learn more about SETI and what lies ahead.
“Celebrate Science” is a family event focused on activities for kids from 8 to 15. There will be a variety of hands on activities, such as learning more about the Institute’s involvement with the Kepler mission, its ongoing search for life in space and even a solar telescope to take a close up look at what’s happening on the sun!
The father of SETI and author of the Drake Equation, Dr. Frank Drake will be in attendance and Seth Shostak will be speaking about SETI and his book, “Confessions of an Alien Hunter”. Moreover, this event is free to attend. More information can be learned on SETI’s website.
Recently, SETI has fallen on hard times, with the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) being forced into hibernation due to lack of funds. The ATA comprises 42 telescopes in Northern California that scan for radio signals from outer space, searching for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. In response to this funding deficit, SETI recently launched SETIstars, a kickstarter to raise $200,000 to bring the ATA back online. With 17 days left, its reached nearly half its goal but could still use help. If you’d like to donate or learn more, visit SETIstars, and help SETI bring back the ATA.
Watch KQED QUEST’s story for more info: SETI: The New Search for ET