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Speaker: Michael Hippke (Sonneberg Observatory)

Talk title: Interstellar communication: What works (not so) well and why?

Our nearest neighbor star, Alpha Centauri C, has a planet in the habitable zone. The Russian billionaire Yuri Milner funds research to send an exploration probe there. Obtaining remote observational data from such a probe is not trivial because of minimal instrumentation (gram scale) and large distances (pc). Together, we follow the long journey of a photon from the transmitter beam through the interstellar dust and gas, atmospheric turbulence, and other obstacles, before finally arriving in the receiver on Earth. We discuss wavelength/frequency choices, gravitational lensing, and particles other than photons, such as Neutrinos. We conclude by asking the "big picture" question: Only when we understand how to communicate efficiently over interstellar communications, we can hope to learn how to receive such communications from other civilizations, if they exist. Are radio waves the best choice?

Office: G6, 018

Host: Daniel Angerhausen (daniel.angerhausen"at"


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Monday, June 11, 2018
12.15–13.00: Lunch
13.00–14.00: Christoph Mordasini
14.15–15:30: Talk

Dinner plans: TBD