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The Drake Equation and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2008/04/03/The_Search_for_Extra-Terrestrial_Life Astronomer Ian Morison explains how scientists assess the likelihood of discovering extraterrestrial life, using a formula called the Drake Equation. ----- Professor Ian Morison describes our attempts to detect the presence of other advanced civilizations, explains why we should not be too disheartened by our failure so far and how a giant radio telescope, due for completion in 2020, would give us a realistic chance of searching the whole Galaxy - Gresham College Ian Morison made his first telescope at the age of 12 with lenses given to him by his optician. Having studied Physics, Maths and Astronomy at Oxford he became a radio astronomer at the Jodrell Bank Observatory and teaches Astronomy and Cosmology at the University of Manchester. Over 25 years he has also taught Observational Astronomy to many hundreds of adult students in the North West of England. An active amateur optical astronomer, he is a council member and past president of the Society for Popular Astronomy in the United Kingdom. At Jodrell Bank he was a designer of the 217 KM MERLIN array and has coordinated the Project Phoenix SETI Observations using the Lovell Radio Telescope. He contributes astronomy articles and reviews for New Scientist and Astronomy Now, and produces a monthly sky guide on the Observatory's website.
Length: 03:32

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