In the 1997 film Contact, Jodie Foster plays astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway. Sheâs devoted her life to searching for proof of life on other planets. In a key scene, sheâs lying on the windshield of her car, headphones on, listening to a distant star system the satellite farm behind her is pointed to. As the satellites reposition, suddenly, she hears something. An unmistakable signal. Contact has been made.
You see, celestial objects emit radio waves. We can actually listen to the stars. Itâs a discipline known as radio astronomy, and Texas Southern Universityâs starting a radio astronomy program. To run it, theyâve brought in astrophysicist Dr. Victor Migenes.
He tells Houston Mattersâ Michael Hagerty how he got interested in listening to outer space.