University of Maryland
Atlantic Building, Room 2400 4:30 PM Monday, March 25, 2019
Coffee, Tea & Snacks 4:15-4:30 PM

Louis Barbier

Technosignatures - NASA's search for intelligent life

In October 2017 a strange object was detected in our solar system. An object of unknown origin and type flying past the sun at 196,000 mph, on a hyperbolic trajectory from outside our solar system. What was this strange object? Was it merely a comet? An asteroid? A spaceship? That is still being debated. Oumuamua aside, NASA is searching for signs of alien technology in the universe. The 2018 NASA authorization bill called for NASA to "partner with the private sector and philanthropic organizations to the maximum extent practicable to search for 'technosignatures', such as radio transmissions, in order to meet the NASA objective to search for life's origin, evolution, distribution, and future in the universe." In this talk I will discuss how NASA is addressing this task and what the expectations are for life elsewhere in the universe.