UAlbany astrophysicist to talk on extraterrestrial life

— Photo from Ron Barnell

An unidentified flying object was superimposed on a photo of Kevin Knuth. He recently published an article entitled “Are We Alone? The Question is Worthy of Serious Scientific Inquiry,”  and will speak Friday at the Carey Institute in Rensselaerville.

To the Editor:

Dr. Kevin Knuth, an astrophysicist with the University at Albany, will be giving a talk this coming Friday, July 20, at the Carey Institute in Rensselaerville on the ongoing search for exoplanets around other stars in the galaxy and the involvement that he and his research team have had in developing sophisticated detection technology for exoplanet searches.

Dr. Knuth will also discuss the prospects for finding life on some of the newly discovered Earth-like worlds, including the discovery of potential bio-tracers in the planets’ atmospheres.

The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence is a decades-long program that scans selective stars in the galaxy with the hope of the detecting signals that may be sent out by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization.

Dr. Knuth will discuss this outreach effort, as well as explaining the “Drake Equation” as formulated by Dr. Frank Drake, an early pioneer in the beginning of the SETI program, which seeks to answer the question of the potential existence of advanced civilizations in our galaxy.

Finally, Dr. Knuth will touch on the question of whether or not, we may have been visited by an advanced alien civilization in the past, or if even today the UFO phenomena might be evidence or not for the possibility of ongoing visitation.

Dr. Knuth recently published an article entitled “Are We Alone? The Question is Worthy of Serious Scientific Inquiry,” which has received a lot of attention, and he has gone on world-wide media to both ponder and discuss this most intriguing question.

Dr. Knuth will begin his presentation with a tribute to prolific science and science-fiction author, Isaac Asimov, and his long-time involvement with the former  Rensselaerville Institute on Man and Science, forerunner to the Carey Institute.

Dr. Knuth’s free-talk will be given starting at 8 p.m. on July 20 in the Guggenheim Theater of the Carey Institute. Following Dr. Knuth’s talk, a public reception will be held  at the Carriage-House Restaurant on the grounds of the Carey Institute.

A $10 donation will go towards the support of the Helderberg Earth & Sky Observatory, which is sponsoring the event.

An Astronomy-related gift will be given to each person who attends.

Beside the food and drinks, served on the large outdoor patio, Helderberg Earth & Sky Science Center members will have several large telescopes set-up for viewing of the moon, planets (Mars is close to the Earth), and deep-sky objects in the dark Rensselaerville area skies.

This promises to be one of the most intriguing science-related public events scheduled for the area this season.

Ron Barnell

President

Helderberg Earth & Sky

Observatory Association

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