Astronomy Club to host renowned astronomer

    ASTRONOMY

    Members of Astronomy Club witness a partial solar eclipse at a viewing event in October 2014. The club will host astronomer Jill Tarter on Friday in the Haymarker Theatre. Photo courtesy of Chelsea Thangavelu.

    The Astronomy Club will host astronomer Jill Tarter to discuss extra-terrestrial activity at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Palo Alto High School Haymarket Theatre.

    Tarter, a former director of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence and current Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI, will discuss her career in astronomy and within SETI, a nonprofit institution dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach.

    “Up to this day, there are about 2,000 confirmed exoplanets — planets outside of our solar system,” senior and Astronomy Club co-president Chelsea Thangavelu said. “Dr. Tarter will be speaking about the possibility of intelligent life or life as we know it outside of our solar system on these exoplanets and what we as humans may do if and when we discover extra-terrestrial intelligence.”

    In addition to her work at SETI, Tarter was named one of the 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in 2004. In 2009, she was a recipient of a TED Prize awarded to individuals with visions to spark global change, according to TED’s official website.

    “We are definitely excited about this event,” Thangavelu said.  “We are so lucky to have such an important figure in science speak at our school. Dr. Tarter is a great speaker and is very passionate about her career.”

    According to Thangavelu, pizza will be provided for the first 100 attendees and students who attend may be able to earn extra credit in their science classes.

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