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SETI Astronomer to Explain How to Answer a Call from Space

Press Release From: SETI Institute
Posted: Monday, March 3, 2003

"What Happens After Contact: Responding to a Message From Space" will be the topic of a free, non-technical talk at 7 p.m. PST on Wednesday, March 5, at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, Calif. The public is invited.

Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., will discuss what plans scientists have if they detect a radio message from an alien civilization. He will examine how such messages will be verified to avoid hoaxes, how the news might be announced to the public and how humanity might reply.

"NASA Ames is pleased to co-sponsor the popular Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, which exemplifies excellence in science outreach," said NASA Ames Research Center Director G. Scott Hubbard.

Shostak is renowned for his ability to explain astronomical ideas and their implications for society in everyday language and is the author of 'Sharing the Universe: Perspectives on Extra- terrestrial Life.'

This is the fourth year of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, which is co-sponsored by NASA Ames, Foothill College's Division of Physical Science, Mathematics and Engineering, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the SETI Institute.

The lecture series is held at Foothill College's Smithwick Theater in Los Altos Hills. From Interstate 280, exit at El Monte Road and travel west to the campus. Visitors must purchase a one-day campus-parking permit for $2. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Youths over the age of 13 are welcome. More information is available by calling the series hotline at 650/949-7888.

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