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Jill Tarter
Jill Tarter at TED in 2009.jpg
Tarter at TED. Photograph by Steve Jurvetson.
Born (1944-01-16) January 16, 1944 (age 71)
Nationality United States
Alma mater University of California at Berkeley
Cornell University
Occupation Astronomer

Jill Cornell Tarter (born January 16, 1944) is an American astronomer and the former director of the Center for SETI Research, holding the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute. Astronomer Dr. Jill Tarter is the holder of the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI.[1][2][3]

Education[edit]

Tarter received her undergraduate education at Cornell University, where she earned a Bachelor of Engineering Physics Degree, and a Master's degree and PhD in astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley.[4]

Astronomy career[edit]

Tarter has worked on a number of major scientific projects, most relating to the search for extraterrestrial life. As a graduate student, she worked on the radio-search project SERENDIP, and created the corresponding backronym, "Search for Extraterrestrial Radio Emissions from Nearby Developed Intelligent Populations." She was project scientist for NASA's High Resolution Microwave Survey (HRMS) in 1992 and 1993 and subsequently director of Project Phoenix (HRMS reconfigured) under the auspices of the SETI Institute. She was co-creator with Margaret Turnbull of the HabCat in 2002, a principal component of Project Phoenix. Tarter has published dozens of technical papers and lectures extensively both on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and the need for proper science education. She is credited with coining the term "brown dwarf" for the classification of stars with insufficient mass to sustain hydrogen fusion.[5] She has spent 35 years in the quest for extraterrestrial life and announced her retirement in 2012.[3]

In 2011, Tarter delivered a talk, “Intelligent Life in the Universe: Is Anybody Out There?,” at the first Starmus Festival in the Canary Islands. The Festival, founded by astronomer Garik Israelian, is a blend of astronomy, allied sciences, music, and art, and Tarter subsequently joined the Starmus Board of Directors, along with Israelian, astrophysicist and Queen founding guitarist Brian May, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, and others. Her 2011 talk was published in the book Starmus: 50 Years of Man in Space.[6]

Honors and awards[edit]

Tarter's work in astrobiology and her success as a female scientist have garnered achievement awards from several scientific organizations.

In popular culture[edit]

Tarter's astronomical work is illustrated in Carl Sagan's novel Contact. In the film version of Contact, the protagonist Ellie Arroway is played by Jodie Foster. Tarter conversed with the actress for months before and during filming, and Arroway was "largely based" on Tarter's work.[4] She has also been featured in John Boswell's Symphony of Science music video, "The Poetry of Reality (An Anthem for Science)".[13]

On October 20, 2006, Tarter appeared on the Point of Inquiry podcast to discuss the question: "Are we alone?". Tarter stated "Humans will have a different view about being human if and when we know the answer to the 'Are we alone?' question"[14]

In May 2013, the Science Laureates of the United States Act of 2013 was introduced into Congress. Jill Tarter was listed by one commentator as a possible nominee for the position of Science Laureate, if the act were to pass.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ SETI Institute Official Website – Jill Tarter biography
  2. ^ Overbye, Dennis (18 June 2012). "A Career Waiting for E.T. to Phone". New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Alien hunter retires after 35-year quest for E.T.". Fox News. May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Space.com: "Dr. Jill Tarter: Looking to Make 'Contact'". Retrieved October 27, 2008. [dead link]
  5. ^ Brown dwarf – History Retrieved September 24, 2010
  6. ^ http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/starmus-festival-and-stephen-hawking-launch-the-book-starmus-50-years-of-man-in-space-274263251.html
  7. ^ CNN: "Scientist probes outer space for aliens". CNN. April 19, 2004. Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Past Honorees". Telluride Tech Festival. Retrieved October 15, 2011. 
  9. ^ TIME Magazine: "TIME 100: Jill Tarter". Time. April 26, 2004. Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Sagan Prize Recipients". wonderfest.org. 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  11. ^ "TED Prizes Go From Deep Sea to Deep Space". Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  12. ^ "CSI Fellows and Staff". Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  13. ^ John Boswell (melodysheep), "The Poetry of Reality (An Anthem for Science)" on YouTube, February 25, 2010.
  14. ^ DJ Grothe (October 20, 2006). "Jill Tarter - Are We Alone?". www.pointofinquiry.org (Podcast). Center for Inquiry. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  15. ^ Marlow, Jeffrey (9 May 2013). "The Science Laureate of the United States". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Tarter — Please support Wikipedia.
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1015 news items

 
NJ.com
Wed, 06 May 2015 12:18:52 -0700

Among those honored were Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Vinton Gray Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, who is known as "father of the internet," Jill Tarter, who occupies the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI Research (Search for ...

SETI Institute

SETI Institute
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 10:03:45 -0700

Jill Tarter The National Radio Astronomy Observatory has selected Jill Tarter to present the 49th annual Jansky Lecture, entitled: Are We Alone? Searching for Intelligent Life Beyond Earth. This free event takes place at our three facilities: On Oct ...

NJ.com

NJ.com
Sun, 03 May 2015 16:37:30 -0700

The Liberty Science Center in Jersey City held its Genius Gala on May 1, 2015. The honorees were Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon; Vinton Cerf, the Chief Internet Evangelist at Google and widely considered the 'Father of the Internet,' and Jill Tarter ...

KUOW News and Information

KUOW News and Information
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:45:09 -0700

Recent astronomical discoveries make this an especially exciting time to ponder the potential for life on other planets. Throughout her career Dr. Jill Cornell Tarter has sought to illuminate that inquiry. Tarter is an American astronomer and the ...
 
Universe Today
Wed, 19 Sep 2012 12:44:04 -0700

In 1985, famed astronomer, author and TV host Carl Sagan invited Jill Tarter to dinner at his house near Cornell University. Tarter, heavily involved with the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, gladly accepted the chance to speak with Sagan, a ...

SETI Institute

SETI Institute
Fri, 14 Mar 2014 12:30:00 -0700

Jill Tarter, holder of the Bernard M. Oliver Chair at SETI Institute, will give a public talk at the conference "The Search for Life Beyond the ​ S​olar ​ S​ystem — Exoplanets, Biosignature & Instruments" at Tucson, Arizona on Tuesday March 18 at 7:30 ...
 
NPR
Mon, 23 Jul 2012 09:25:42 -0700

As a child, astronomer Jill Tarter would walk along the beaches of western Florida with her father and look up at the stars. "I assumed, at that time, that along some beach on some planet, there would be a small creature walking with its dad and they ...
 
Satellite PR News (press release)
Tue, 05 May 2015 04:26:15 -0700

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., May 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — In a variation on life imitating art, Dr. Jill Tarter of SETI, the real life inspiration for Jodi Foster's character in the movie Contact, was recently sent evidence of actual extraterrestrial contact, said ...
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