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A Dedicated Technosignature Observatory at Optical and Infrared Wavelengths
Add to Calendar 2022-02-16T20:45:00 2022-02-16T22:00:00 UTC A Dedicated Technosignature Observatory at Optical and Infrared Wavelengths
Start DateWed, Feb 16, 2022
3:45 PM
End DateWed, Feb 16, 2022
5:00 PM
Presented By
Shelley Wright (University of California, San Diego)
Event Series: Astronomy Colloquium

Title:  A Dedicated Technosignature Observatory at Optical and Infrared Wavelengths

Abstract: 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 been primarily focused at radio wavelengths, but in the last decade astronomers are thinking critically about new ways to conduct technosignature searches at optical and infrared wavelengths. Our team has been operating the first SETI instrument to search for nanosecond pulsed signals at near-infrared wavelengths. Now our team is developing an "all-sky" optical and wide-field near-infrared pulsed technosignature and fast-transient experiment, called PANOSETI, that is capable of imaging 1,000’s of sq. degrees of the sky instantaneously. The optical component of PANOSETI will cover a solid angle a million times larger than previous targeted SETI searches, while also increasing dwell time per source by a factor of 10,000. One primary goal of PANOSETI is to implement detection methods for pulsed transients and variable sources over 10 decades: nanosecond to seconds. I will discuss the current and future landscape of dedicated technosignature searches and instrumentation. Optical and infrared SETI experiments that explore the very fast time domain, especially with large sky coverage, offer a prime opportunity for new discoveries that complement Multimessenger and time domain astrophysics. 

Astro Colloquium and 'coffee & cookies' Department gathering (3:30-3:45pm)

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