Podcaster: Host : Fraser Cain; Guest: Dr. Pamela Gay, Dr. Nick Castle, Allen Versfeld

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Title: The ATA & Technosignatures With Dr. Sophia Sheikh (SETI Institute)

Link: Cosmoquest:


Today’s story:

  • Why NASA is trying to crash on Mars. On purpose.
  • A marshmallow world.
  • A star has destroyed the atmosphere of one of its planets.
  • Ancient data finding Uranus’ rings.

Host: Fraser Cain ( @fcain )

Special Guest: As we discover new exoplanets on an almost daily basis – particularly now that JWST is online – scientists are ramping up their research into identifying those planets that may exhibit traces of life (as we know it.) Scientists use spectrographs to examine the composition of these exoplanet atmospheres looking markers called technosignatures – trace elements that may be indicative of life. What constitutes a technosignature? Does the presence of one or more technosignatures mean that an exoplanet is a strong candidate for hosting life? Can atmospheric markers not included in our current list of technosignatures still be indicative of life, just not as we know it? This week, we welcome Dr. Sofia Sheikh from the SETI Institute ( to discuss how the ATA is playing an instrumental role in this research.

Dr. Sofia Z. Sheikh is a radio astronomer and astrobiologist working at the SETI Institute. She obtained her undergraduate degrees in physics and astronomy at UC Berkeley, and has recently returned to the Bay Area with an NSF-ASCEND Postdoctoral Fellowship after getting her PhD in Astronomy and Astrobiology at Penn State. Currently, she is performing SETI searches and studying pulsars and fast radio bursts with the Allen Telescope Array, a 42-dish radio array located in Hat Creek, California. Be sure to follow her on Twitter: @SETISheikh

You can learn more about the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) by visiting their website:

Regular Guests:

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365 Days of Astronomy

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After 10 years, the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast is poised to enter its second decade of sharing important milestone in space exploration and astronomy discoveries. Join us and share your story. Until tomorrow! Goodbye!