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Mike Simmons, Friday, 8-29-14 August 30, 2014

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Mike Simmons, Friday, 8-29-14


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Guest:  Mike Simmons.   Topics:  Astronomers Without Borders, telescopes and astronomy as part of our culture and in international relations.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.


We welcomed Mike Simmons to the program, Founder and president of Astronomers Without Borders (http://astronomerswithoutborders.org).  During our 61 minute discussion, Mr. Simmons started out by introducing us to Astronomers Without Borders and visits to Iran and Iraq.  He talked about astronomy as a cultural connection among nations and peoples, especially with young and well educated people around the world.  We discussed the organization and total eclipse tours, trips, and other astro tourism projects.  He mentioned the organization’s Monthly Hangout which is a Google Plus monthly meeting with guests which you can find on YouTube.  Our guest talked about the Mt. Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles and several listeners asked him about visiting the famous observatory.  The same for Mt. Palomar which is still in use and also in S. California.  Joe asked about the best age to introduce children to astronomy.  Mike then told us about telescopes and pointed us to basic telescopes his organization sells for those interested.  See http://store.astronomerswithoutborders.org.  Listeners asked Mike about their participation in Uwingu programs, specifically the Beam Me to Mars program.  We learned that the organization has been a beneficiary of Uwingu grants.  Listeners asked about night viewing, light pollution and dark skies programs.  Paul sent in a question inquiring about astronomy and the connection to space exploration & development which are major themes for The Space Show. This provoked an interesting discussion with our guest.  Near the end of our discussion, Mike talked about astronomy in the arts including astro crafts, astro poetry, space artists, and more.


Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Mike through the email address he gave on air, his website, or me.

Dr. Seth Shostak, Thursday, 3-8-12 March 9, 2012

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Dr. Seth Shostak, Thursday, 3-8-12


Guest:  Dr. Seth Shostak.   Topics:  The SETI Institute, SETI searches, and astronomy.You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright.  We welcomed Dr. Seth Shostak back to the program for updates regarding the SETI Institute and SETI searches.  Learn more about SETI at http://www.seti.org.  Other websites of interest and that were talked about or mentioned on the program include SETILive at www.setilive.org; the Big Picture Science Radio program at www.seti.org/bigpicturescience, and SETIConII at http://seticon.com.  We began our discussion talking about SETILive and Citizen Science.  We talked about the SETILive website, the basics on looking at the signals in question, and more. This took us to the topic of the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) which now has 42 antennas operating with a plan for up to 350 antennas, each 20 feet across.  We compared this to the VLA inNew Mexico.  Dr. Shostak reported to us that the speed of SETI searches was increasing at a rate similar toMoore’s Law for computers.  Our guest then explained SETI search patterns and methodology.  Several listener questions came in including asking if SETI was better off with public funding, private funding, or a combination of both.  Seth suggested the combination but listen to what he said about each category.  Another listener asked about Optical SETI. Here, we learned that the SETI Institute was no longer doing it but that there was an excellent program for Optical SETI atHarvardUniversity.  This prompted another listener to ask about SETI programs around the world.  You might be surprised to learn just how many programs there are and their locations.

In our second segment, Jim fromAustin asked if there was any correlation to funding for SETI based on how well NASA does with its annual funding from Congress.  Dr. Shostak said there were no correlations but when SETI public funds were terminated in 1993, private funding stepped up to take over.  He also said that it appears SETI does better when related topics are in the news or the media, including TV shows such as X-Files.  Discoveries from Kepler and other space missions also play a part in driving support for SETI.  We then turned our attention to Active SETI, the idea of deliberately transmitting to space.  Dr. Shostak explained the controversy surrounding Active SETI but was supportive of it.  Terry called in to inquire about the protocol should a signal be discovered.  This brought up a review of the WOW signal matter, then we talked about student internships at SETI.Wayne fromSanta Fe emailed us about the ET worldwide culture which we discussed from several perspectives.  Other topics of interest included pseudo science, science and education, the study of astronomy, and the quality of majorCalifornia observatories given light and air pollution.  Near the end, John called in to ask if an ET starship using fusion or another form of energy/engine propulsion would leave a visible trail as a way of being detected.  Finally, we talked about incoming asteroids, the keyhole, and even painting an asteroid to deflect it.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Shostak can be reached through the SETI Institute website.