Shore Leave 42 Guest: Ray Villard

Ray Villard
Ray will be speaking about:

Ray Villard has specialized in communicating astronomy to the general public for his entire career. As News Director for the Space Telescope Science Institute at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, he is responsible for disseminating news about the most recent discoveries made with Hubble Space Telescope. In 2004 Villard published an illustrated popular book on discovery of extrasolar planets entitled Infinite Worlds. The book was later developed into a documentary for the National Geographic Chanel, entitled Alien Earths. The program was nominated for a 2010 Prime Time Emmy Awards. Mr. Villard has received several NASA service awards for his contribution to the Hubble telescope project. He holds an M.S. in Science Communication from Boston University.


An Astronomical Perspective

The recent government report on unexplained aerial phenomena has breathed life back into the worn out techno-mythology that intelligent beings from another star are whizzing around our skies with the frequency of those pesky spring cicadas. This talk will present a long list of reason why space aliens will never visit Earth. Given the age of the galaxy they would have arrived already, but there is no shred of evidence after over 70 years of sightings. Besides the unimaginable gulf of space between us and other alien civilizations, UFO believers overlook the fact there is an even vaster gulf of time. Civilizations could easily be a million years more technologically evolved than us. This leaves them without any motive for being interested in looking at our primitive backwater culture. Exoplanet surveys encourage the belief the galaxy should be rich in habitable planets for extraterrestrial civilizations. Our first evidence for life off the Earth may likely be archeological:  observations of ancient alien astroengineering or technology. Finally I will talk about the only true UFO sighting of possible extraterrestrial origin.

Books by Ray Villard:

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