Shore Leave 39 Guest: Ray Villard

Ray Villard
Ray will be speaking about:

Recent discoveries of exoplanets reveal that anything is possible in the universe -- so long as it is allowable within the laws of chemistry and physics. Based on that conclusion, this talk will take a look at some the most exotic planetary systems to date. The one system that is ripe for human colonization is Alpha Centauri, and the talk will explore the possibility of planets in that system. Intelligent civilization around other stars should be compulsive too, and we should see evidence of mega-engineering projects where a supercivilization harnesses much of the power of its star, or perhaps taps energy from supermassive black holes. Could evidence for alien mega-engineering be buried in our astronomical archives? Does the absence of evidence set an upper limit of the lifespan of a technological species?

Ray Villard has specialized in communicating astronomy at a popular level public since the early 1970s. As News Director for the Space Telescope Science Institute he is responsible for translating Hubble's astronomical discoveries into stories for the news media and public. In 2004 Villard published an illustrated popular astronomy book on discovery of extrasolar planets entitled "Infinite Worlds." Villard co-wrote a video adaption of the book for the National Geographic Channel. The program "Alien Earths" was nominated for the 2010 Prime Time Emmy Awards. Mr. Villard hosts public programs and seminars on astronomy topics through the Johns Hopkins University, and is an adjunct astronomy professor in several Maryland universities.

Books by Ray Villard:

Title ISBN Date Publisher
0-52023-710-2 University of California Press
0-82396-110-9 The Rosen Publishing Group