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"Are Good Planets Hard to Find?"

Topic of Discussion
January 24th at Foothill College

On Wednesday evening, January 24th, at 7 p.m., Drs. Frank Drake and Peter Ward will discuss the controversial "Rare Earth" hypothesis in the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. Admission is free and the public is invited. Call the series hotline at 650-949-7888 for more information.

This non-technical program will focus on the question of whether or not habitable planets (like our own Earth) are rare in the cosmos. Dr. Ward, a geologist and zoologist at the University of Washington, is co-author of a much-debated book called Rare Earth, which suggests that scientists may be too optimistic about finding earths and life among the stars. Dr. Drake is an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and one of the founders and the Chairman of the SETI Institute. He is widely known for conducting the first radio search for possible signals from extra- terrestrial civilizations, and for the Drake Equation, a way of organizing our estimates for the number of such civilizations that might be out there.

There will be an opportunity for questions from the audience after what should be an exciting discussion.

The program will be held at the Foothill College Smithwick Theater in Los Altos Hills. From Interstate 280, exit at El Monte Road and travel west to the campus. Visitors much purchase a required campus parking permit for $2.

The non-technical program is co-sponsored by NASA's Ames Research Center, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the SETI Institute. Over 900 people attended several of the lectures in this series last year. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Children over 13 are most welcome.

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Last updated: July 19, 2007

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