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The SETI Institute scientists work within this cross-disciplinary environment and produce world-class research regularly accepted by top scientific journals.

The majority of the work of the SETI Institute happens in this rich research environment. On any given day, our scientists are diving underneath Antarctic ice, mapping the trajectories of asteroids, exploring Mars analogs here on Earth and the geoscience of the real Mars; discoving new exoplanets in the habitable zones of other solar systems; and listening and looking for signs of technological life elsewhere.

Our quest belongs to the world. In addition to sharing our research results with our peer scientific community, the SETI Institute promotes STEM education with programs aimed at inspiring children, young adults and educators. We also bring the results of our work to millions through deft use of social media, radio broadcasting,and publications and presentations made available online to all who want to be part of our search.

Space exploration is an important gateway for children and adults to want to learn about science. The SETI Institute takes full advantage of the fascinating research conducted by our talented scientists to make discovery of life elsewhere in our universe a common purpose and passion of all mankind.

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This is really amazing !

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NASA’s Fermi Links Ghost Particle to Galaxy

On Dec. 4, 2012, IceCube detected an event known as Big Bird, a neutrino with an energy exceeding 2 quadrillion electron volts (PeV), the highest-energy neutrino ever detected at the time. But the best IceCube position only narrowed the source to a patch of the southern sky about 32 degrees across, equivalent to the apparent size of 64 full moons.

In the summer of 2012, Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT) witnessed the onset of a dramatic brightening of PKS B1424-418, an active galaxy classified as a gamma-ray blazar. An active galaxy is an otherwise typical galaxy with a compact and unusually bright core; this excess luminosity is produced by matter falling toward a supermassive black hole weighing millions of times the mass of our sun. As it approaches the black hole, some of the material becomes channeled into particle jets moving outward in opposite directions at nearly the speed of light. In blazars, one of these jets happens to point almost directly toward Earth. During the year-long outburst, PKS B1424-418 shone between 15 and 30 times brighter in gamma rays than its average before the eruption. The blazar is located within the Big Bird source region, but so are many other active galaxies detected by Fermi.

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Check it again. Lens not right.
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An Old Glass Plate Hints at a Potential New Exoplanet Discovery

The discovery: it all started when astronomer Jay Farihi of University College London requested early plate observations of the star from the Carnegie Institute. Dating from 1917, the plate shows the bar code-looking spectrum of the star. Astronomer Walter Adams captured the image from the Mount Wilson observatory, noting on the sleeve that the ‘ordinary’ looking star (Van Maanen’s Star wasn’t identified as a white dwarf until 1923) was perhaps merely a bit hotter than our own Sun.

But to Farihi’s trained eye, something was up with Van Maanen’s star. Specifically, it was the presence of the third set of absorption lines between the standard pair that showed evidence of calcium, magnesium and iron —materials that should have long since sunk down to the dense core of the degenerate star. Somehow, these heavy — remember, to an astronomer, the periodic table consists of hydrogen, helium and ‘metals’ — were being replenished from above.

“The unexpected realization that this 1917 plate from our archive contains the earliest recorded evidence of a polluted white dwarf system is just incredible,” says Carnegie Observatory director John Mulchaey in a recent press release.

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Software error doomed Japanese Hitomi spacecraft

Hitomi’s troubles began in the weeks after launch with its star tracker, which is one of several systems on board meant to keep the satellite oriented in space. The star tracker experienced glitches whenever it passed over the eastern coast of South America, through a region known as the South Atlantic Anomaly. Here, the belts of radiation that envelop Earth dip relatively low in the atmosphere, exposing satellites to extra doses of energetic particles.

By itself that should not have been a fatal problem. But the star tracker issue kicked off a series of cascading failures.

At 3:01 a.m. Japan time on 26 March, the spacecraft began a preprogrammed manoeuvre to swivel from looking at the Crab Nebula to the galaxy Markarian 205. Somewhere along the way, the problems with the star tracker caused Hitomi to rely instead on another method, a set of gyroscopes, to calculate its orientation in space. But those gyroscopes were reporting, erroneously, that the spacecraft was rotating about 20 degrees each hour. Tiny motors known as reaction wheels began turning in order to counteract that supposed rotation.

Once the reaction wheels reached their maximum spin, a magnetic rod would normally deploy to keep them from accelerating out of control. But the magnetic rod must be oriented properly in three dimensions to work, and so it failed to slow the reaction wheels. Hitomi spun up, faster and faster.

The spacecraft then automatically switched into a safe mode and, at about 4:10 a.m., fired thrusters to try to stop the rotation. But because the wrong command had been uploaded, the firing caused the spacecraft to accelerate further.

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Curiosity Mars Rover Crosses Rugged Plateau

The rover climbed onto the "Naukluft Plateau" of lower Mount Sharp in early March after spending several weeks investigating sand dunes. The plateau's sandstone bedrock has been carved by eons of wind erosion into ridges and knobs. The path of about a quarter mile (400 meters) westward across it is taking Curiosity toward smoother surfaces leading to geological layers of scientific interest farther uphill.

The roughness of the terrain on the plateau raised concern that driving on it could be especially damaging to Curiosity's wheels, as was terrain Curiosity crossed before reaching the base of Mount Sharp. Holes and tears in the rover's aluminum wheels became noticeable in 2013. The rover team responded by adjusting the long-term traverse route, revising how local terrain is assessed and refining how drives are planned. Extensive Earth-based testing provided insight into wheel longevity.

The rover team closely monitors wear and tear on Curiosity's six wheels. "We carefully inspect and trend the condition of the wheels," said Steve Lee, Curiosity's deputy project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. "Cracks and punctures have been gradually accumulating at the pace we anticipated, based on testing we performed at JPL. Given our longevity projections, I am confident these wheels will get us to the destinations on Mount Sharp that have been in our plans since before landing."

Inspection of the wheels after crossing most of the Naukluft Plateau has indicated that, while the terrain presented challenges for navigation, driving across it did not accelerate damage to the wheels.

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nice
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SpaceX Will Launch Private Mars Missions as Soon as 2018

The commercial spaceflight company SpaceX announced on Twitter today that it plans to send its robotic Dragon capsule to Mars as early as 2018.

"Red Dragons will inform the overall Mars architecture," SpaceX representatives tweeted today (April 27), referring to the company's eventual plans to set up a colony on Mars — a key goal of SpaceX and its founder, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.

A source familiar with the company’s plans said the first test flight of a Dragon capsule to Mars would demonstrate technologies needed to land large payloads on the Red Planet. That could include supplies and habitats for Martian explorers. In addition, the source said that SpaceX intends to reveal details of its colonization architecture later this year.

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+Edgar Smith That's what I ment, thanks! 
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'Passage to Mars': New Film Follows Voyage to 'Mars on Earth'

This impressive documentary film spotlights scientific objectives in astrobiology, geology, geophysics, planetary protection, climate change, and human Mars exploration studies.

"We wanted to have a record of our expedition on film, create a tool to help promote Humans to Mars, and inspire the next generation of explorers with a positive message," explains expedition leader, Pascal Lee, planetary scientist at the Mars Institute and the SETI Institute, and director of the HMP at NASA Ames Research Center.

The expedition includes Mars Institute team members Joe Amarualik, John Schutt, and Jesse Weaver. The documentary film crew included award-winning film director Jean-Christophe Jeauffre of Jules Verne Adventures and director of photography Mark Carroll.

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+Amir Rasheed wacko
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We have 80 scientists collaborating on amazing research. Help support their work! Donate during #SVGives on May 3.
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James Webb Space Telescope's Golden Mirror Unveiled

The 18 mirrors that make up the primary mirror were individually protected with a black covers when they were assembled on the telescope structure. Now, for the first time since the primary mirror was completed, the covers have been lifted.

Standing tall and glimmering gold inside NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's clean room in Greenbelt, Maryland, this mirror will be the largest yet sent into space. Currently, engineers are busy assembling and testing the other pieces of the telescope.

This widely anticipated telescope will soon go through many rigorous tests to ensure it survives its launch into space. In the next few months, engineers will install other key elements, and take additional measurements to ensure the telescope is ready for space.

Image credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

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Exquisite 
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Support the work and outreach of our amazing scientists and the first $17,000 raised will be matched by the SETI Institute Trustees.

Watch our video here: https://vimeo.com/163858250

Visit seti.org/give to show your support now and during #SVGives on May 3!
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thank
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During #SVGives, in only 5 days, we will have a special LIVE #SETITalks panel at noon. More details coming...

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Bom dia taó bem por ai
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Elektra: A New Triple Asteroid

Astronomers have discovered a new satellite orbiting the main belt asteroid (130) Elektra — the smallest object visible in this image. The team, led by Bin Yang (ESO, Santiago, Chile), imaged it using the extreme adaptive optics instrument, SPHERE, installed on the Unit Telescope 3 of ESO’s Very Large Telescope at Cerro Paranal, Chile. This new, second moonlet of (130) Elektra is about 2 kilometres across and has been provisionally named S/2014 (130) 1, making (130) Elektra a triple system.

Image credit: Yang/ESO

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p636..

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Our mission is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.
Introduction

We believe we are conducting the most profound search in human history — to know our beginnings and our place among the stars.

The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach.

The Institute comprises 3 centers, the Center for SETI Research, the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe and the Center for Education and Public Outreach.

Founded in November 1984, the SETI Institute began operations on February 1, 1985. Today it employs over 120 scientists, educators and support staff. Research at the Institute is anchored by two centers. Dr. Gerry Harp leads the Center for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Research and  Dr. David Morrison is the Director for the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe. Edna DeVore leads our Center for Education and Public Outreach.