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The Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series: Lectures So Far

1999 - 2000 School Year

October 13, 1999: Dr. Geoff Marcy (University of California, Berkeley): Finding New Worlds Around Other Stars.

November 17, 1999: Dr. Jill Tarter (SETI Institute): Making Contact: The Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence.

January 26, 2000: Dr. Alexei Filippenko (U. of California, Berkeley): Einstein's Biggest Blunder: New Discoveries about Cosmic 'Antigravity'

March 1, 2000: Drs. Christopher McKay (NASA Ames) and Margaret Race (SETI Institute): Missions to Mars: Exploring the Red Planet

April 12, 2000: Dr. Sallie Baliunas (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics): The Changing Sun and the Climate of the Earth: Why Louis XIV Had Cold Feet

May 3, 2000: Drs. Jeff Cuzzi, Dale Cruikshank, and Jeff Moore (NASA Ames): Cold Hard Worlds at the Edge of the Solar System

2000 - 2001 School Year

October 11, 2000: Dr. David Morrison (NASA Ames Research Center): What Killed the Dinosaurs: The Asteroid Threat and What We Can Do About It

November 15, 2000: Dr. Sandra Faber (University of California, Santa Cruz): Images from the Hubble Space Telescope: How they are Changing our Perspective

January 24, 2001: Drs. Peter Ward (University of Washington) & Frank Drake (SETI Inst.): The Rare Earth Hypothesis: Are Good Planets and Life Hard to Find?

March 7, 2001: Dr. Pascal Lee (SETI Institute): Finding Mars on Earth

April 11, 2001: Dr. Greg Laughlin (NASA Ames Research Ctr.): The Ultimate Fate of the Sun and the Solar System

May 2, 2001: Dr. Vera Rubin (Carnegie Institution of Washington): What's the Matter in the Universe? (A Talk on Dark Matter)

2001 - 2002 School Year

October 10, 2001: Dr. Chris Chyba (SETI Institute & Stanford University): Life in the Universe: Is it Just Around the Corner?

November 14, 2001: Dr. Lynn Cominsky (Sonoma State University): Exploding Stars, Blazing Galaxies, and Giant Black Holes: The Extreme Universe of Gamma-ray Astronomy

January 23, 2002: Mr. Scott Hubbard (NASA Ames Research Center): Following the Water: The New Program for Mars Exploration

March 6, 2002: Dr. Debra Fischer (University of California, Berkeley): Planets Beyond: The Search for Other Solar Systems

April 10, 2002: Dr. Alexei Filippenko (University of California: Berkeley): Why I Believe in the Big Bang: Evidence about the Origin of the Universe

May 1, 2002: Dr. Gregory Benford (University of California, Irvine): Navigating the Gulf: The Borderline of Science and Fiction

2002 - 2003 School Year

October 9, 2002: Dr. Leo Blitz (University of California, Berkeley): The Making of the Milky Way: Survival of the Fittest

Nov. 13th, 2002: Dr. Arno Penzias (recipient of the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics): A Personal View of the Big Bang

Jan. 29, 2003: Dr. Gibor Basri (University of California, Berkeley): Failed Stars or Supergiant Planets: A Cosmic Identity Crisis

Mar. 5, 2003: Dr. Seth Shostak (SETI Institute): What Happens After Contact: Responding to a Message from Space

Apr. 23, 2003: Dr. Scott Sandford (NASA Ames): The STARDUST Mission: Bringing Home a Comet

May 21, 2003: Timothy Ferris (journalist, TV producer): Seeing in the Dark: How Backyard Astronomers are Probing Deep Space and Guarding Earth from Interplanetary Peril

2003-2004 School Year

Oct. 8, 2003: Dr. David Des Marais (NASA Ames): Mars Exploration Rover Mission

Nov. 12, 2003: Dr. Alan Dressler (Carnegie Observatories): The Mystery of Black Holes

Feb. 11, 2004: Dr. Eugene Chiang (U. of California, Berkeley): The Search for Planet X: Exploring the Solar System Beyond Neptune

Mar. 3, 2004: Dr. James Kaler (U of Illinois): Extreme Stars: The Strangest Critters in the Stellar Zoo

Apr. 14, 2004: Dr. Claudia Alexander (JPL): A Galileo Wrap-Up: What We Have Learned about Giant Jupiter and Its Marvelous Moons

May 19, 2004: Dr. Yvonne Pendleton (NASA Ames): In the Heat of the Night: Searching for the Heat of Infant Stars, Comets, and the Building Blocks of Life

2004 - 2005 School Year

Oct. 6, 2004: Russell Schweickart (Apollo 9 Astronaut): Asteroid Deflection: Hopes and Fears

Nov. 10, 2004: Dr. Eliot Quataert (U of California, Berkeley): Black Holes: The Science Behind the Science Fiction

Jan. 26, 2005: Dr. Jeff Cuzzi (NASA Ames): Lord of the Rings: Cassini and Saturn

Mar. 2, 2005: Dr. Phil Plait (Sonoma State U): Bad Astronomy in Everyday Life and the Movies

Apr. 20, 2005: Dr. Frank Drake (SETI Institute): Estimating the Chances of Life Out There: The Drake Equation Today

May 18, 2005: Dr. Nathalie Cabral (NASA Ames): The Mars Exploration Rover Mission Result

2005 - 2006 School Year

Oct. 5, 2005: Dr. Cynthia Phillips (SETI Institute): Jupiter's Tantalizing Moon: Water (and Life?) Under the Ice of Europa

Nov. 9, 2005: Dr. Chris McKay (NASA Ames): Revealing Titan: What the Cassini Mission Has Discovered about Saturn's Giant Moon

Jan. 25, 2006: Dr. Michael Brown (Caltech): Beyond Pluto: The Discovery of the "10th Planet"

Mar. 1, 2006: Dr. Scott Sandford (NASA Ames): Bringing Samples Back: A Stardust and Hayabusa Mission Update

Apr. 26, 2006: Dr. Ron Marzke (SF State U.): News from the Distant Past: How Galaxies Tell Their Stories

May 17, 2006: Dr. Joshua Bloom (U. of California, Berkeley): Giant Cosmic Explosions: The Gamma-Ray Burst Boom

2006 - 2007 School Year

Oct. 4, 2006: Dr. Alex Filippenko (U. of California, Berkeley): Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe

Nov. 8, 2006: Dr. Dale Cruikshank (NASA Ames): The Planet Pluto: Maligned but Not Forgotten

January 24, 2007: Dr. Bruce Margon (University of California, Santa Cruz): Glimpsing the Edge of the Universe: Results from the Hubble Space Telescope

March 7, 2007: Dr. Janice Voss (NASA Ames Research Center): "A Scientist in Space" and "Searching for Earth-like Planets: NASA's Kepler Mission"

April 11, 2007: Dr. David Grinspoon (Denver Museum of Nature and Science): "Comparing Worlds: Climate Catastrophes in the Solar System"

May 23, 2007: Dr. Dana Backman (SETI Institute and Astronomical Society of the Pacific): "A Ringside Seat to the Formation of Planets"

2007 - 2008 School Year

October 3, 2007: Dr. David Morrison (NASA Ames Research Center): "Taking a Hit: Asteroid Impacts and Evolution"

November 13, 2007: Dr. Jeff Moore (NASA Ames Research Center): "New Horizons at Jupiter (and Some Saturn News)"

Jan. 23, 2008: Dr. Joel Primack and Nancy Abrams (U. of California, Santa Cruz): "The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos"

Mar. 5, 2008: Dr. Geoff Marcy (U. of California, Berkeley): "New Worlds and Yellowstone: How Common are Habitable Planets?"

April 23, 2008: Dr. Jill Tarter (SETI Institute): "The Allen Telescope Array: The Newest Pitchfork for Exploring the Cosmic Haystack"

2008 - 2009 School Year

October 1, 2008: Dr. Leonard Susskind (Stanford University): "The Black Hole Wars: My Battle with Stephen Hawking"

November 12, 2008: Dr. Mark Showalter (SETI Institute): "Saturn's Restless Rings: Latest Results from the Cassini Mission"

January 21, 2009: Dr. Anthony Colaprete (NASA Ames Research Center): "Prospecting for Water on the Moon: The Upcoming LCROSS Mission"

March 4, 2009: Dr. Stephen Beckwith (University of California): "The Dawn of Creation: The First Two Billion Years"

April 22, 2009: Dr. Margaret Race (SETI Institute): "Planetary Protection and Hitchhikers in the Solar System: The Danger of Mingling Microbes"

May 20, 2009: Dr. Patricia Burchat (Stanford University): "The Dark Side of the Universe: Dark Matter and Dark Energy"

2009 - 2010 School Year

October 7, 2009: Dr. Paul Kalas (University of California, Berkeley): "Hubble Breakthrough: The First Photos of a Planet Orbiting Another Star"

November 11, 2009: Dr. Lynn Rothschild (NASA Ames Research Center): "Hubble Life at the Edge: Life in Extreme Environments on Earth and the Search for Life in the Universe"

January 20, 2010: Dr. Seth Shostak (SETI Institute): "The Search for Intelligent Life Among the Stars: New Strategies"

March 10, 2010: Dr. Helen Quinn (Stanford University): "The Many Mysteries of Antimatter"

April 21, 2010: Dr. David Morrison (NASA Lunar Science Institute & SETI Institute): "A Scientist Looks at 'Doomsday 2012' and the Rise of Cosmophobia"

May 19, 2010: Dr. Alex Filippenko (University of California, Berkeley): "Hearts of Darkness: Black Holes in Space"

2010 - 2011 School Year

October 20, 2010: Dr. Gregory Laughlin (University of California, Santa Cruz): "The Ultimate Fate of the Solar System (and the Music of the Spheres)"

November 17, 2010: Dr. Natalie Batalha (San Jose State University): "Catching Shadows: Kepler's Search for New Worlds"

January 19, 2011: Dr. Michael Brown (Caltech) "How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had it Coming"

March 9, 2011: Dr. Chris McKay (NASA Ames Research Center) "Saturn's Moon Titan: A World with Rivers, Lakes, and Possibly Even Life"

April 20, 2011: Dr. Thomas Berger (Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab) "Our Explosive Sun: New Views of the Nearest Star and the Largest Explosions in the Solar System"

May 18, 2011: Dr. Anthony Aguirre (University of California at Santa Cruz) "Multiple Universes and Cosmic Inflation: The Quest to Understand Our Universe (and Find Others)"