UofT Annual AstroTour Keynote: New Ways to Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Saturday, July 22, 2017 -
6:30pm to 10:30pm

How common is life in the universe? Is there other intelligent life? For over 50 years, astronomers have been conducting the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). These searches have primarily been focused at radio wavelengths, but in the last decade astronomers are thinking of new ways to search for extraterrestrial communication. I will give an overview of humanity’s quest in finding extraterrestrial intelligence, as well as future methods and programs that are on the horizon.

About the Speaker
Shelley Wright is an Assistant Professor in Physics at UC San Diego in the Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences. Her research focuses on developing innovative astronomical instrumentation and observations using some of the world’s largest optical telescopes. Shelley specializes in near-infrared cameras and spectrographs, and studying distant galaxies and supermassive black holes. She is currently the Project Scientist for the first-light instrument IRIS for the future Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory. Shelley has also been involved with Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) instrumentation and searches for over a dozen years.

Schedule of Events

6:30–7:30pm  Solar observing, Planetarium Shows, & Astronomy Exhibits [Earth Science Building, 5 Bancroft Ave.]
8:00–9:00pm  Shelley Wright lecture and question period [ES 1050, Earth Science Building, 5 Bancroft Ave.]
9:00–10:30pm  Reception, Night Sky Observing, Astronomy Exhibits, & Planetarium Shows [TBA]

The AstroTour Keynote is an annual event that brings in astronomers that are both world-renowned researchers and amazing public speakers from around North America to give talks in Toronto. The event also features solar and night-sky observing through the Astronomy Department’s many telescopes, planetarium shows run live by astronomer, an Ask-an-Astronomer reception, and more!

The AstroTour Keynote is part of the AstroTour lecture series hosted by the graduate students of the U of T Astronomy Department, and is generously funded by the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, and the Dunlap Institute for Astrophysics.

Who can attend: Everyone
Fee: Free
Reservations: Only required for Planetarium Shows (available on July 14th)
Organized by: Graduate Astronomy Students Association, Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
Location: Earth Sciences Centre (5 Bancroft Avenue and 33 Willcocks Street, Room ES1050, University of Toronto)