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John isn't just some VFX junkie. John Knoll and his brother, Thomas, have been involved in image analysis for over thirty years now. He has created and been involved in some of the staple image analysis and editing applications of our time - including photoshop. This is someone that understands all of these concepts on a mathematical and theoretical level which makes him perfect for dealing with actual image analysis, forensic, creative or otherwise. People like himself wrote the applications that allowed people like Russ to write the book on these subjects.
There is nothing unusual about persons with VFX credits working for astro photography organisations etc ... Nor is there anything unusual about persons with VFX credits working in forensic imaging and survey data areas. I doubt a defense lawyer is ever going to say 'oh, but your honor, she worked on Star Wars'.
Originally posted by Argyll
Does anyone know if a SETI representative has been invited to one of these NASA press conferences before?
Laurance R. Doyle (born 1953) is a scientist who received his PhD from the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg. He has worked at the SETI Institute since 1987 where he is a principal investigator and astrophysicist. His main area of study has been the formation and detection of extrasolar planets, but he has also worked on communications theory. In particular he has written on how patterns in animal communication relate to humans with an emphasis on cetaceans.
He grew up on a dairy farm in Cambria, California and therefore didn't have much access to information about stars. But by reading books at the local library, Doyle was able to develop his knowledge in astronomy, and eventually obtain his Bachelor's and Master's of Science degrees in astronomy from San Diego State University.
HIs first job was at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an imaging engineer, where he was in charge of analysing pictures of Jupiter and Saturn sent from the spacecraft Voyager. He moved to Heidelberg, Germany, to help analyse images of Halley's Comet. He got his doctorate in Astrophysics at the University of Heidelberg.
In May 2005 he appeared on a National Geographic Channel Special titled Extraterrestrial. He is also both a Christian in science and a Christian Scientist.
Doyle is currently seeking to compare dolphin whistles and baby babble in an attempt to make predictions about extraterrestrial communications. He believes that by measuring the complexity of communications for different species on earth, we could get a good indication of how advanced an extraterrestrial signal is. His study determined that babies babble over 800 different sounds with the same amount of frequency as dolphins. As they grow older, those sounds decrease to around 50 and become more repetitious. The study found that baby dolphins develop similarly with regards to their whistling.
Detection of Extrasolar Planets Around Eclipsing Binaries in the Kepler Field
About 350 eclipsing binary stars may be found in the NASA Kepler Mission field of view (FOV). We have developed two methods for the discovery of planets around eclipsing binaries -- a matching filter to look at quasi-periodic transit features indicative of a planet in transit across the two moving stars in the background, and a second method using timing of the stellar eclipse minima themselves to see if the stars are being offset by giant planets farther out around a binary-planet barycenter. This last method does not require planetary orbits to be in the line-of-sight orbital plane, and non-detections mean that circum-binary planets of a certain minimum mass are not present. One must know the spectral type and luminosity class of the stars for a determination of the size of the planets (transiting) or their projected mass (eclipsing timing). We will use ground-based Stromvil photometry to spectrally classify each eclipsing binary star system, following this with the application of the Wilson-Devinny (WD) eclipsing binary code to determine the exact parameters of the star systems.
We have been guaranteed observing time on the 0.9-meter Crossley telescope at Lick Observatory for these observations. We will then apply a well tested matching filter program correlating light curves of the photometric data with generated models of planetary orbits and sizes in order to detect close-in transiting planets at a quantifiable confidence limit. Over a long term we shall then apply the WD code to see if any changes in binary eclipse epochs have shifted in a periodic way, indicative of larger-orbit circum-binary planets. We estimate that hundreds of additional planets may be discovered in the Kepler FOV in this way and that such circum-binary planets will be of significant interest to our understanding of planet formation processes in close binary star systems.