First Lecture on Sky Phenomena

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This image is from a US Navy infrared video clip and shows an unidentified flyin
This image is from a US Navy infrared video clip and shows an unidentified flying object.
The study of unknown phenomena in the air is finding its way into teaching: space engineer Professor Hakan Kayal has designed a lecture specifically for this purpose.

Julius-Maximilians-U­niversität Würzburg (JMU) will start a new lecture on 20 April 2023 that is likely to be unique: "Fundamentals and Methods of UAP Research".

UAP refers to "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena". These can be moving objects or light phenomena, for example. Many of these phenomena can be explained scientifically on closer inspection, but some cannot.

Hakan Kayal, JMU Professor of space technology, has been working on UAP for a long time. Now he is also bringing the topic into teaching, because he wants to get students excited about UAP research and attract young talent to this field of research. His lecture is mainly aimed at Master’s students of aerospace informatics. However, other technically interested students at JMU are also welcome.

What the lecture is about

Kayal himself gives about half of the lectures, for the rest he has recruited guest lecturers. Roughly speaking, the lecture is about how phenomena in the sky can be observed and measured. And it’s about the mistakes and misinterpretations that can happen in the process.

"The lecture will be very technical, but also interdisciplinary. For example, it will deal with optical sensor technology, radar technology, methods of artificial intelligence and the physical behaviour of aircraft, but also weather phenomena and the psychology of perception," explains the professor.

The lecture will take place in the summer semester 2023 from 20 April every Thursday from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m., in seminar room S0.107 of the Library and Seminar Centre on the JMU North Campus.

Research Centre for Extraterrestrial Studies

Hakan Kayal founded the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Extraterrestrial Studies (IFEX) at the University of Würzburg, a cross-institutional scientific institution of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science.

The members of IFEX develop technologies to explore outer space, objects in our solar system, stars and galaxies. Since January 2022, the topic of UAP has also been part of the IFEX research canon.

IFEX also has its eye on signs of extraterrestrial life. "The possibility that extraterrestrial intelligences are behind unexplained celestial phenomena should not be ruled out," says the JMU professor.

Additional images

With a SkyCAM, installed at the Hubland Campus in Würzburg, Professor Hakan Kayal keeps an eye on the sky.

By Robert Emmerich