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South Bay Disco Bash To Honor World's Top Alien Hunter

SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) - Jill Tarter, the astronomer who was a prototype for the lead character in Carl Sagan's novel Contact, will be honored with a disco serenade at her retirement party in Santa Clara this weekend.

The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, known as the SETI Institute, will host a conferences this weekend at Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara. The main event, Tarter's retirement Gala, will feature a performance of "Shining Star" by Sheldon Reynolds, of Earth Wind and Fire.

Tarter is a U.C. Berkeley PhD. who is perhaps best known for using radio technology to search for extra-terrestrial life. She advised Jodi Foster on the lead role of Ellie Arroway in the 1997 film version of Contact.

Tarter currently serves as the Director of the Mountain View-based SETI Institute.

Tickets to this weekend's event, known as SETIcon, can be purchased online through Tuesday, or at the venue.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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