~ 12, 2002 was the month for the
IAU Symposium 213
Bio-astronomy "Life Among The Stars" held on
Island Great Barrier Reef Australia. The attendees
list reads like a "whose who" of the scientific
community. Several of our members attended the five day
conference and mixed with some of the most respected
scientists that are recognized leaders in planetary
subjects discussed at the symposium include Astronomy,
Biology, Geology, Sociology and even archaeology. For a
full list of the topics covered at the conference you
click here for more details.
Harrison Schmidt, famous Apollo 17 Geologist, opened
the conference with a talk about the moon and his
experiences there. This picture at right is sunrise
Hamilton Island on the morning of the first day.
Welstead managed to get a photo with Harrison and was
able to ask some questions about the moon that he had
saved up for such an occasion. Here Harrison and Noel
pose together in front of a moon (golf) Buggy.
Island Is a beautiful resort located on the coast of
Northern Queensland Australia. The island is part of the
Whitsunday group that is just an hours boat ride
Great Barrier Reef one of the great natural wonders
of the world.
Bruno Award winners compare notes on their respective
Seti roles, Kent a signal processing expert and Noel, a
computer hardware expert.
Kent Cullers from the Seti Institute in California
(at left) was the first recipient of the Seti Leagues
Bruno Award. He is also the real living person portrayed
in the Film
CONTACT which stared Jodie Foster.
Brodrick (left) from the
Narrabri radio observatory (ATNF) shows his 20mhz
radio interferometer to two very interested
attendees after the conference gala banquet. The
computer is displaying the signals received from the 4
antennas mounted above the beach a few metres away.
Marcy, planet hunter extraordinaire, shows off one
of his portable diffraction gratings. He carries a bag
of these around everywhere he goes just in case he gets
a clear night and needs to find some more planets. Geoff
and his team of astronomers, although not the first to
discover an extra solar planet, are credited to have
discovered more than anybody else.
An announcement was made at the conference of a
Jupiter size planet orbiting in a Jupiter like orbit
around the star 55 Cancri.
Professor John Caldwell tries his hand at driving
the Lunar Buggy
when no one was looking. John hung out with us Seti guys
after hours and managed to understand the
Ozzie accent well enough to understand our humour.
Even though John is originally from Canada, he still
sounds a bit like he's American. John is credited with
discovering the processes that predicts the way the
atmosphere on Saturn's moon Titan behaves.
Seti League members take time out for a photograph. At
is Allen Tough who actively advocated the search for
interstellar probes in our own solar system. Allen also
has a web page that
to make contact. Also at centre is
Noel Welstead and
Mario Zadnik to the right. Allen also chaired a
discussion group that included Paul Davies, Ray Norris,
Seth Shostak and Carol Oliver.
of heavy weights. These seven individuals represent the
cross symposia panel discussion held the first night of
the conference. Starting from the left is
Harrison Schmidt. The discussion was lively and very
Wayne Thresher from New Zealand poses on the hill
the resort after a strenuous hike up the mountain. The
view was worth the trouble as you can see. Wayne is on
our scientific advisory panel and is interested in how
life got started. He
presented a poster at the conference titled
Surfaces" that attracted the attention of other like
minded scientists who also presented their works at the
Professor Geoff Barnes who shared a room with Wayne
surveys the four antenna array erected by David
Broderick and Tim Kennedy on the beach. Geoff is
interested in doing a similar experiment at Massey
University in New Zealand where he works.
the very interesting papers presented at the conference
Martin Van Kranendonk who is from the Western
Australian Geophysical Survey Dept. This talk was about
the fossil life that has been found at the
Warrawoona Group formations that have been dated
between 3.43 and 3.49 Billion years ago. These
formations clearly show that
Stromatolites existed at that time and appear to
have been well developed at this stage of the evolution
of life on planet Earth. The picture at right is
some of these fossils and the interest that the
conference attendees had in looking at them.
hours the conference attendees spent time relaxing and
discussing the days work. Some of the wife's and
partners also came along to enjoy the wonderful
surroundings and atmosphere provided at the resort. This
snap shows an impromptu meeting in the lounge bar where
we could all relax. From left to right are
Erkki Helo (Uni of Helsinki), Rose Roach (Uni NSW/
David Brodrick (CSIRO ATNF),
Tim Kennedy (CSIRO ATNF), Prof Geoff Barnes (Massey
University N.Z), Tim's partner Sue. The discussions were
as hard as the Drinks and much science was postulated at
Seti Institute was well represented at the conference.
Starting from left
is Kent Cullers,
Dr John Dreher and
Doug Vakoch (right).
Doug Vakoch specializes in the sociological effects of
communicating with another civilization and it's effects
on humanity and Dr John Dreher is project scientist for
Telescope Array. All three members of the Seti
Institutes team who attended the conference gave very
More Pix to come so please look back from time to time
as we will do regular updates on this page.