Little Green Men

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Showings

Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema Wed, Dec 4 7:00 PM
Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema Wed, Dec 11 7:00 PM

Description

little green men is a documentary film about high school students searching for pulsars (a certain type of collapsed star) using radio astronomy data from West Virginia's Green Bank Telescope through the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC).

Why little green men? No, our film isn’t about aliens, although Frank Drake did begin his search for extra-terrestrial life (now known as SETI) at Green Bank. "Little Green Men,", or LGM-1, was the 'nickname' first given to an unknown radio signal discovered in 1967, by Jocelyn Bell, then a graduate student at Cambridge. Once it became clear that the signal was not an alien communication, but rather radio waves emitted by a collapsed star, the name 'pulsar' was created to describe this newly discovered stellar object.

So far our students have discovered seven pulsars, including two rotating radio transients (RRATs), which are unusual pulsars with very sporadic emission. Our first discoverer - who was 15 at the time - even got invited to the White House. You can see him with President and Mrs. Obama in the preview.