Astronomy Colloquia

The WISE view of the Solar System

Speaker: 
Joseph Masiero (Jet Propulsion Lab, Caltech)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2013-01-17 11:00 - 12:10
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Brett Gladman
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) was a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission designed to survey the entire sky in four thermal infrared wavelengths simultaneously.   Although the primary mission of WISE was to catalog nearby brown dwarfs and find the most luminous galaxies in the Universe, it also became a powerful tool for studying the minor planets of the Solar system with the addition of the NEOWISE enhancement to the survey.  In 2010, WISE was the leading observer of Solar system objects, submitting nearly 4 million detections of approximately 157,000 asteroids and comets to

Practising “astromedicine”: Lessons in medical imaging and inversion from a rocket scientist

Speaker: 
Jaymie Matthews (UBC Physics & Astronomy)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2013-01-07 16:00 - 17:10
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

“Interdisciplinary studies’ has become a catchphrase in modern pure and applied sciences. But few expect this principle could be stretched enough to connect topics as diverse as cancer and cosmology, retinal disorders and resolving binary stars, or the lymphatic system and the Solar System. Those connections – and others between medical imaging and its astrophysical counterparts – do exist. Medical specialists employ non-invasive ways to probe inside the body; astronomers have no choice but to probe distant stars and galaxies non-invasively.

The Quest for Habitable Exoplanets

Speaker: 
Rene Doyon, Universit\'e de Montr\e'al
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2012-11-26 16:00 - 17:15
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
The ultimate goal of exoplanet research is to find and characterize habitable exoplanets outside the 
Solar System, other worlds that could potentially harbour life. More specifically, one is aiming to 
find Earth-like planets orbiting their star within the habitable zone, this region around a star where 
the temperature is warm enough for water to exist in liquid form.

Here Be Dragons: The dynamic radio sky

Speaker: 
Geoff Bower, UC Berkeley
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2012-10-01 16:00 - 17:15
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
Radio variability probes a wide range of astrophysical phenomena from the solar
system to the early Universe including black holes, neutron stars, gravitational
wave sources, tidal disruption events, and relativistic shocks from collapsing
stars. Radio follow-up of events discovered at optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray
wavelengths demonstrates a rich phenomenology but we lack a systematic and
sensitive view of radio variability.

The Square Kilometre Array: Cosmic Origins, Gravitational Waves, and Astrobiology

Speaker: 
Joe Lazio, SKA Office (Jet Propulsion Laboratory / Caltech)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2012-11-19 16:00 - 17:15
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
The Square Kilometre Array is intended to be the centimetre- and metre-wavelength 
telescope for the 21st Century.

How to form an early-type galaxy: clues from integral-field spectroscopy

Speaker: 
Anne-Marie Weijmans, Dunlap Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2012-11-05 16:00 - 17:15
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
Early-type galaxies (ellipticals and lenticulars) may at first glance come across 
as simple stellar systems, but when we take a closer look at them, they show a large
variety in shape, size and structure. Their morphology, kinematics and stellar 
population properties tell us the story of their formation.

In this talk I will discuss how two-dimensional or integral-field spectroscopy can 
be used to study both the luminous and dark matter in early-type galaxies.

Towards measuring the Dark Matter cross-section (not just limiting it)

Speaker: 
Will Dawson, UC Davis
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2012-10-22 16:00 - 17:15
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
DLSCL J0916.2+2951 (Musket Ball Cluster) is a galaxy cluster merger where the dark matter and galaxies have 
become dissociated from the collisional gas. Because the time since first pass-through is longer than for 
any other such merger, this system is the one most sensitive to a nonzero dark matter self-interaction 
cross-section, which would be observed as the dark matter trailing the collisionless galaxies.

POSTPONED - Gravitational lensing of the CMB: Science and synergies

Speaker: 
Sudeep Das, Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2012-10-15 16:00 - 17:15
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

Sudeep is unable to make it to Vancouver for his colloquium.  We are working on an alternate date in the second term of the 2012/13 Astronomy Colloquium series.

CANFAR + Skytree: Mining massive datasets as an essential part of the future of astronomy

Speaker: 
Nick Ball, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2012-09-24 16:00 - 17:15
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
The future study of large datasets, consisting of hundreds of millions to billions 
of objects, will be dominated by large computing resources, and by analysis tools 
of the necessary scalability and sophistication to extract useful information.
Astronomy data are no exception to this trend, and will require significant effort
to fulfil their potential as a provider of the next generation of science results.
To-date, computing systems have allowed either sophisticated analysis of small data 
sets, e.g., most astronomy software, or simple analysis of large datasets, e.g.,
database

Using artificial intelligence to find pulsars

Speaker: 
Aaron Berndsen, UBC Physics & Astronomy
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2012-09-17 16:00 - 17:15
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
I'll start with a quick review of the many areas of physics which pulsars help us 
explore. Then I'll describe the typical current (and expected future) observing 
modes for pulsars (transitioning from single dishes to interferometers (EVLA, ASKAP, 
MeerKat, SKA, Lofar).  Finally, I'll report on a project to use artificial 
intelligence to help find pulsars, with an introduction to the principles of machine 
learning, and a presentation of some of our recent results.
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