The Star Spot

Feature Guest: Dan Werthimer

Physicist Enrico Fermi once asked, if aliens exist in the galaxy, then just where is everybody. And for nearly 40 years the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, has sought to answer that very question. Now they’re about to take it to the next level. Meet China’s FAST telescope (Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope). Now in the commissioning phase, when the largest single dish radio telescope in the world enters prime time early in 2017 it might give us a new year’s gift of galactic significance. To understand how the FAST Telescope will be a game changer in our search for alien intelligence, today we’re joined at The Star Spot by SETI pioneer and Chief Scientist for SETI@Home Dan Werthimer.

Current in Space

Do we really know the fate awaiting Earth when the sun enters its end of days? Anuj thinks we do now that we've found our future twin. Then Dave provides an update on Pluto's surprisingly complex and sensitive matters of the heart. And can globular clusters shed light on the heart of our own galaxy.

About Our Guest

Dan Werthimer is a SETI pioneer and co-founder. He works at the Berkeley SETI Research Centre where he is Chief Scientist for SETI@home and director of the SERENDIP project (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Radio Emissions from Nearby Developed Intelligent Populations). Dr. Werthimer was Associate Professor in the Engineering and Physics departments of San Francisco State University and a visiting Professor at Beijing Normal University.

Direct download: The_Star_Spot_Episode_115_-_Dan_Werthimer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

Feature Guest: Roberto Abraham

Imagine a galaxy that has a similar mass and volume to our own but where somebody turned off most of the stars. Meet Dragonfly 44, the most famous member of a new category of galaxies known as ultra-diffuse. Are they failed galaxies, bits of other galaxies or something even stranger. Today we’re joined at The Star Spot by Professor Roberto Abraham whose team was responsible for the discovery of what’s being dubbed the Milky Way’s Dark Matter Twin.

Current in Space

The killer asteroid that took out the dinosaurs - and much of life on Earth - came from somewhere in our solar system, and Anuj reports we’ve just identified its home base. Then in case you thought the universe was a big place Tony explains how our observable universe just got a whole lot bigger. And did you know Earth has at least one sidekick? Dave explains how a new mission will help study so-called Trojan asteroids that share a common orbit with our pale blue dot.

About Our Guest

Roberto Abraham is Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. He received his PhD from the University of Oxford and then performed post-doctoral work at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics and the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University. Professor Abraham has been awarded the National Science and Engineering Research Council Steacie Fellowship and is Honorary President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Toronto Centre.

Direct download: The_Star_Spot_Episode_114_-_The_Milky_Ways_Dark_Matter_Twin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

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