Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Special Event near San Francisco This Sunday

I would like to invite all of you who live in or near the San Francisco area to a very special event this Sunday, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel near the San Francisco Airport, in the town of Burlingame. I will be moderating an afternoon discussion with three of my favorite astronomers (all excellent public speakers.)

Our topic will be "Beyond Earth: Planets, Life, and Intelligence in the Cosmos" and we will discuss the search for planets around other stars, for life on the worlds in our own solar system, and for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Geoff Marcy is considered the foremost planet hunter on our planet, having discovered more planets orbiting other stars than any other human being. Jill Tarter has headed the search for intelligent radio signals from ET for many years, and is the scientist whom Jody Foster was playing in the film "Contact." Chris McKay is one of the top Mars experts in the world and explores places on Earth that most resemble Mars.

The program is sponsored by the non-profit Astronomical Society of the Pacific, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. The illustrated talks and panel will go from 1:30 to 5:30 pm at the Hyatt Hotel, 1333 Bayshore Highway, Burlingame, CA 94010. It's all free and open to the public, but the sponsors hope each attendee will make a donation of $10 to help pay for the expenses at the hotel. We expect big crowds, so come a little early to get a seat.

For more information and to RSVP, go to

With almost 2,000 planets now known to orbit other stars, and with many stars having more than one planet (just like our Sun does), this is the time that topics that seemed like science fiction only a few years ago are becoming an exciting part of science. Hear the latest from those at the forefront of this work.

If you know people living near San Francisco who might be interested, perhaps you can help me by sending this information on to them.


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