SETI (the search for extra terrestrial intelligence

Guest Speaker

Thursday, 16th June 2022 (19:45 - 22:00)

Venue: Virtual Meeting

This presentation provides an overview of SETI (extraterrestrial intelligence search) and the many methods used to conduct this search. In the first half of the discussion, I go through the history of SETI before going over some of the more current work in this field, with an emphasis on the utilisation of the I-LOFAR radio telescope for SETI. The merits and disadvantages of traditional radio SETI approaches are examined, as well as the importance of optical telescopes to the SETI cause. The second half of this lecture discusses my adaptive optics (AO) research and how this technology is critical for directly photographing exoplanets. Before speculating on how adaptive optics could be able to identify signs of advanced extraterrestrial civilisations, I discuss the major components of an AO system and how they operate.

Speaker: Ben McKeon

I’m Ben, an avid space geek and first-year PhD student researching adaptive optics at NUI Galway. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the world of SETI last Summer when I took part in an internship with Breakthrough Listen and the Berkeley SETI Research Center. An active member of the NUIG Astronomy Society, I always enjoy talking about the wonders of the night sky. When I’m not tinkering with my own telescope or designing a new one, I’m usually found running, reading or knee-deep in a pile of Lego.

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