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Upgraded from the Optical SETI (OSETI) instrument previously installed on the 1 meter Nickel Reflector, the NIROSETI instrument (Near Infrared Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is designed to detect as-yet-undiscovered nanosecond laser pulses from beyond our solar system. This innovative device is the only one of its kind in the world, the first capable of detecting such brief bursts at near infrared wavelengths.

Research team: Shelley Wright P.I., Patrick Dorval, Frank Drake, Jérome Maire, Geoffrey Marcy, Andrew Siemion, Remington Stone, Richard Treffers, Dan Wertheimer. Prrevious team members inclued Zoe Buck and Melisio Muñoz.

The Anna B. Nickel 40-inch Reflector is named for the San Francisco seamstress whose generous and unexpected bequest provided funding to design and build this telescope. Constructed in-house in the late 1970’s, the Nickel presently occupies the first dome to be completed on Mt. Hamilton, at the north end of the Main Building. The dome originally housed a 12” Alvan Clark Refractor which was placed in service in 1881. Careful dome modifications accommodate the Nickel’s larger aperture.

What would Anna think if her telescope was the first to discover ET?

 

UC San Diego NIROSETI First Light press release

 

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