Himalaya: Listen. Learn. Grow.

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Lectures and Presentations

Swinburne Commons

Lectures and Presentations
49 min2019 FEB 22
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Presented by Dr Daniel C Price on 22nd February 2019. Thanks to new, more powerful technology, astronomers can search the skies faster and with more resolution than ever before. In this public lecture, I will talk about two exciting fields in astronomy: the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and Fast Radio Bursts. The SETI field has been reinvigorated by the 10-year, $100M Breakthrough Listen initiative to search for intelligent life beyond Earth. As a project scientist for Breakthrough Listen, I will introduce the program and detail how we are using new technology to run the most comprehensive search for intelligent life beyond Earth ever undertaken. I will also discuss a mysterious phenomenon known as fast radio bursts: incredibly bright but short-lived signals from distant galaxies, which escaped detection until recently. Could these signals be due to intelligent aliens, or is there an astrophysical explanation? I will give an overview of how a telescope upgrade will help us answer this question, and how Swinburne astronomers will play a leading role. Finally, I will discuss what evidence would convince us that there is indeed life beyond Earth, or that the Universe is ours alone to enjoy.