Department News

Link to 'Giant Telescope Takes a Close Look at a Lava Lake on Jupiter's Moon Io'

Giant Telescope Takes a Close Look at a Lava Lake on Jupiter's Moon Io

Scientists recently confirmed information regarding Loki Patera, a volcanic depression on Io (the innermost of Jupiter's four moons) that, up until recently, scientists were unable to closely examine. Using the combined Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) and Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI), in addition to the LMIRcam, the camera recording images in the …

TAGS: planets, Imke de Pater, katherine de kleer, LBT

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Link to 'Automated Planet Finder Discovers Three New Planets'

Automated Planet Finder Discovers Three New Planets

The Automated Planet Finder (APF), a robotic telescope located at Lick Observatory, has discovered three new planets around a near-by star. These planets, or Super-Earths, have a mass seven to eight times that of Earth; while most planets discovered outside of our solar system have been the size of Neptune or larger, the APF purposefully targets smaller planets around nearby stars in …

TAGS: Lauren Weiss, discoveries, Howard Isaacson, Automated Planet Finder, APF

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Link to 'Department Celebrates First CalDay in Campbell Hall!'

Department Celebrates First CalDay in Campbell Hall!

The Department of Astronomy participated in CalDay, the annual event where campus opens its doors to anyone looking to learn more about Berkeley and explore everything the campus has to offer. CalDay attendees came to participate in a number of hands-on events and activities hosted by the department that included building scale models of the solar system, learning how to …

TAGS: Campbell Hall, SETI, CalDay, SES-B

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Search for Alien Civilizations on Other Planets Gets a Boost

The San Francisco Chronicle caught up with Professor Geoff Marcy and his colleague Nathaniel Tellis as they conduct their search for laser evidence of advanced civilizations within the Milky Way galaxy with the help of Keck Observatory. You can find the complete article here!

TAGS: SETI

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Link to 'UC Berkeley Astronomers Lead New NASA-Funded Search for Habitable Planets'

UC Berkeley Astronomers Lead New NASA-Funded Search for Habitable Planets

Department of Astronomy faculty member James Graham will lead one of the 16 new projects funded by NASA in efforts to streamline the search for habitable planets. The project is part of the newly announced NExSS (Nexus for Exoplanet System Science) which seeks to bring together "the best and the brightest" to oversee the search.  The Berkeley "exoplanets …

TAGS: Eugene Chiang, Lauren Weiss, Erik Petigura, Jason Wang, planets, Paul Kalas, James Graham, NASA, Tushar Mittal, NExSS, Project

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Link to 'Debates Continue Over Messaging Extra Terrestrials'

Debates Continue Over Messaging Extra Terrestrials

Experts Geoff Marcy (Department of Astronomy Faculty Member and SETI chair) and Dan Werthimer (Department of Astronomy Researcher and Chief Scientist of SETI@Home) recently gave an interview to California Magazine to discuss METI, the Messaging of Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the argument for proceeding with caution and implenting oversight while others look to approach this project …

TAGS: SETI, Dan Werthimer, METI, California Magazine

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Link to 'Berkeley Participates in Yuri's Night Celebration at CalAcademy'

Berkeley Participates in Yuri's Night Celebration at CalAcademy

Every year in April a world-wide celebration is held to honor Yuri Gagarin, the first human being to venture into space. This year, members from the UC Berkeley Department of Astronomy took part in honoring this historical achievement with a Yuri's Night celebration at the California Academy of Sciences. Graduate students Erik Petigura and Jason Wang managed telescope viewings on …

TAGS: Lick Observatory, Events, Yuri's Night, Lauren Weiss, Erik Petigura, Jason Wang

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Link to 'CalDay 2015!'

CalDay 2015!

CalDay 2015 is almost here! On April 18th the campus opens up to the public for hands-on activities, lectures, presentations, tours, food, and other opportunities to engage with the campus community. The Astronomy department is hosting a number of events; see below for a complete listing so you can plan out your day! Are We Alone?: SETI@home & the Search for ET Hear about …

TAGS: Campbell Hall, Dan Werthimer, CalDay, Carl Heiles, Undergraduate Lab, Gibor Basri, Alex Filippenko

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Link to 'New Instrument Extends the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence to New Realms'

New Instrument Extends the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence to New Realms

From Astronomy Magazine: "Astronomers have expanded the search for extraterrestrial intelligence into a new realm with detectors tuned to infrared light. Their new instrument has just begun to scour the sky for messages from other worlds. “Infrared light would be an excellent means of interstellar communication,” said Shelley Wright from the University of California (UC) …

TAGS: Lick Observatory, Dan Werthimer, SETI, extraterrestrial, facilities, research

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Link to 'Distant Supernova Split Four Ways by Gravitational Lens'

Distant Supernova Split Four Ways by Gravitational Lens

From release by Robert Sanders:  "Over the past several decades, astronomers have come to realize that the sky is filled with magnifying glasses that allow the study of very distant and faint objects barely visible with even the largest telescopes. A University of California, Berkeley, astronomer has now found that one of these lenses – a massive galaxy within a cluster of …

TAGS: Supernova, Patrick Kelly, Hubble, Melissa Graham, Bradley Tucker, Alex Filippenko, research, discoveries

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