Gabriel Moulin Photo

This week on KALW's showcase for the best stories from public radio podcasts and independent radio producers... 

Seth Shostak/SETI Institute

It has been an exciting summer for astronomers - NASA's New Horizons mission captured pictures of Pluto, a 15-year-old intern discovered a new planet, and tech billionaire Yuri Milner invested 100 million dollars into the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI for short.

Courtesy of SETI

If you think back to the 1997 film Contact, you’ll recall a scene where Jodie Foster, playing alien-hunting astronomer Ellie Arroway, lies on her car hood with huge headphones on her ears, in a field of towering white satellite dishes. She’s waiting for something. A signal. She lies still, her eyes closed. And suddenly, she hears something, the sounds of something – someone  – beyond the earth, communicating with her.