A leading scientist in the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence will be the featured speaker at a May 25 fundraising dinner in Kelowna for the Okanagan Observatory.
Seth Shostak, who is the senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., will speak on Are We Alone?
"The scientific hunt for extra-terrestrial intelligence is now into its fifth decade and we still haven't uncovered a confirmed 'peep from any cosmic company. There is good reason to expect a discovery of organisms on other worlds soon and that we could uncover evidence of sophisticated civilizations within a few decades," he said.
"Why this might be more than wishful thinking and what contact would mean are the subjects of this talk on the continuing efforts to establish our place in the universe of living things."
The event will be the second annual fundraising dinner for the observatory, which is starting its sixth year of operation near Big White Mountain as a project of the Okanagan branch of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
The public is invited to join members at the dinner, which will be held at the Kelowna Curling Club. In addition to the address by Shostak, the evening will feature astronomical displays and a silent auction.
The displays will show recent improvements at the observatory, as well as plans for a new public Discovery Centre. Doors will open at
5 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and Shostak's presentation at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $40 and can be reserved until
250-763-3573.Shostak was the 2004 winner of the Klumpke-Roberts Award presented by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the
public understanding and appreciation of
Before his involvement with SETI research, he used radio telescopes in the U.S. and the Netherlands searching for clues to the ultimate fate of the universe by analyzing galaxy
He is also the author of nearly 300 published articles and books on astrobiology and related topics, and is the host of the SETI Institute's weekly science radio show, Big Picture Science.
Last year's dinner featuring Canadian astronomer Ken Tapping raised more than $3,000, which supported the observatory's operating costs.
The 2012 public outreach activities brought astronomy to 6,300 people on a series of Friday nights at the observatory.
They featured live audio-visual presentations on astronomy followed by observations through member telescopes as well as the observatory's own 25-inch reflecting telescope.
More information about the Okanagan Observatory can be found at okanaganobservatory ca. More information about locally observable astronomical events as well as branch activities can be found at the club's website: ocrasc ca.
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