Astronomy Colloquia

Cometary Impact Rates at Jupiter and Beyond

Speaker: 
Luke Dones (SwRI)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2014-10-20 15:30 - 16:30
Location: 
Hennings 318

Most impact craters on the Moon and terrestrial planets are created by
asteroids - bodies whose orbits lie within Jupiter's orbit. Impacts on
the giant planets and their satellites, by contrast, are thought to be
dominated by "comets" - bodies from the Kuiper Belt/Scattered Disk
beyond Neptune. Cometary impact rates are uncertain because small
bodies in the Kuiper Belt are still invisible to us, and because
comets - unruly by nature - sometimes break up for reasons of their

3D model atmospheres of white dwarfs

Speaker: 
Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay (Hubble Fellow, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2014-10-06 15:30 - 16:30
Location: 
Hennings 318

Most stars become white dwarfs at the end of the stellar life cycle.
The study of these old degenerate remnants in clusters and the
galactic halo provides essential information about the first stellar
populations in our galaxy. We have recently computed the first grid
of 3D model atmospheres for hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarfs.
These time-resolved radiation-hydrodynamics simulations, unlike the
commonly used 1D calculations, do not rely on the mixing-length theory

Mapping the Deep: First Discoveries from the Outer Solar System Origins Survey

Speaker: 
Michele Bannister
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2014-09-22 15:30 - 16:30
Location: 
Hennings 318

The exploration of the outer Solar System has reached an exciting point: we are now beginning to understand its dynamical structure, sculpted into existence by giant planet migration in the early history of the Solar System. We have designed a survey using 560 hours of CFHT time over four years to provide hundreds of new trans-Neptunian objects with exquisitely characterised, high-precision orbits.

Astro Jamboree

Speaker: 
The Astronomy Group
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2014-09-15 15:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 318

Short talks will be given by faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates to share and advertise the astronomy research being conducted in the department.

Investigating the early formation and evolution of planetary systems with sub-mm interferometers

Speaker: 
Luca Ricci
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2014-09-08 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 318

Planets are formed through a huge growth of solids, starting from the tiny sub-micron sized grains found in the Interstellar Medium. Sub-millimeter observations of young circumstellar disks, the astrophysical systems where planets form, can reveal key steps along this process. Pebbles as large as ~ 1-10 millimeter have been found in nearly all young disks observed so far, orbiting either young stars or brown dwarfs. The spatial distribution of these particles can be investigated in great detail using sub-mm interferometers such as ALMA, CARMA and SMA.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Multiplicity of Planets among the Kepler M Dwarfs

Speaker: 
Sarah Ballard (NASA Carl Sagan Fellow, University of Washington)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2014-07-28 14:00 - 15:15
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
The Kepler data set has furnished more than 130 exoplanetary candidates 
orbiting M dwarf hosts, nearly half of which reside in multiply transiting 
systems. I investigate the proposition of self-similarity in this sample, 
first posited by Swift et al. (2013) for the analysis of the five-planet 
system orbiting the small star Kepler-32. If we compare the predictions of 
one single mode of planet multiplicity and coplanarity against the Kepler 
sample, we can test whether we replicate the multi-planet yield of Kepler.

Science with the SKA

Speaker: 
Robert Braun (Square Kilometre Array Observatory)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2014-04-17 16:00 - 17:15
Location: 
HENNINGS 304 - Note change of room
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews and Ingrid Stairs
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
The world's largest radio telescope is currently being designed, for deployment from
2017 and early science beginning in 2020. An overview of the project and its extensive 
science capabilities will be given.

The density and velocity field of galaxies

Speaker: 
Yin-Zhe Ma (UBC Physics and Astronomy)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2014-03-17 16:00 - 17:10
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
The density and peculiar velocity field are the two major tools of astronomers to
probe the large scale structure of the Universe. Recently, the observations of the
galaxies in our local volume and cosmic microwave background radiation can give us
new advances to probe the nature of dark matter and growth of structure.

Planet migration and the Kuiper belt: What our local debris disk tells us about the dynamical history of the Solar System

Speaker: 
Kat Volk (UBC Physics & Astronomy)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2014-01-27 16:00 - 17:10
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
The dynamical history of our Solar System's giant planets left its signature 
in the orbital distribution of small bodies in the trans-Neptunian region.  
These objects are the remains of a more massive primordial disk of planetesimals 
whose gravitational interactions with the giant planets helped shape the final 
orbital architechture of the outer Solar System.

A calibration of the stellar-mass fundamental plane at <z> = 0.4 using the micro-lensing induced flux ratio anomalies of macro-lensed quasars

Speaker: 
Paul Schechter (MIT and Kavli Institute)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2014-03-31 16:00 - 17:10
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews and Jeremy Heyl
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
So-called "stellar" masses for early type galaxies are almost always determined 
by one of two methods: either they are estimated from spectra (and sometimes only 
broad band colors) or they are deduced by subtracting the contribution of an assumed 
dark matter profile from a combined mass inferred from kinematic (and sometimes 
macro-lensing) measurements.  Both methods have shortcomings.
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