Extraterrestrial intelligence and the Fermi paradox

The Milky Way and ESA's Gaia spacecraftThe Milky Way contains 100 billion stars. So where is everybody? (The spacecraft shown in this artist’s impression is one of ours: it’s ESA’s Gaia space observatory.)
Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab; background: ESO/S. Brunier

One of the highlights of IAUS 367 is Nikos Prantzos, from the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, on “the quest for extraterrestrial intelligence and the Fermi paradox”. He’ll be presenting a general overview of the topic, as well as an original analysis of the Fermi paradox in terms of the Drake formula — a framework for thinking about the number of technological civilizations within our galaxy.

Other highlights include Jay Pasachoff on “the science and the magnificence of observing total solar eclipses”, and Alex Young on “engaging the public through solar eclipses”.

IAUS 367 is a virtual symposium that was originally going to be held in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. On 14 December a total solar eclipse will cross Chile and Argentina, about 125 km north of Bariloche.

timeanddate.com map of the total solar eclipse on 14 December 2020The (very narrow) dark red line shows the path of totality for the December 2020 solar eclipse. Areas covered by lighter shading will see a partial eclipse.
Image credit: timeanddate.com

We’re planning to broadcast the eclipse on timeanddate.com. (It will be the second part of an eclipse season double-header that began with our livestream of the penumbral lunar eclipse on 30 November.)

Published by Graham Jones

Astrophysicist and language teacher