Astronomy Colloquia

Detecting and characterising extrasolar planets by direct imaging

Speaker: 
Thayne Currie (Dept. of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2013-01-31 11:00 - 12:10
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Brett Gladman
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

Direct imaging is the new frontier in exoplanet detection and the means by which we will eventually discover a true Earth twin around a Sun-like star.  In this talk, I introduce the new observing techniques/powerful image processing methods used to directly image planets as well as some of the surprising properties of the first directly imaged planetary systems (e.g. HR 8799 and Fomalhaut) in particular their atmospheres/sources of

Seeing worlds in grains of sand

Speaker: 
Amaya Moro-Martin (Centro de Astrobiología, Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (Madrid) & Princeton University
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2013-01-28 10:00 - 11:10
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Brett Gladman
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

Debris disks are disks of dust that surround a significant fraction of stars of a wide range of masses and ages. From dust lifetime arguments it is inferred that these dust particles originate from the collision/sublimation of planetesimals, similar to the asteroids, comets and Kuiper belt objets in our Solar System. We review results from Spitzer and Herschel debris disks surveys regarding the disk frequency,

High-temperature processing of solids in disks: Exploring the signatures of shocks

Speaker: 
Aaron Boley (University of Florida)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2013-01-24 11:00 - 12:10
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Brett Gladman
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

Strong dynamical interactions between planetoids and planets can place large bodies on eccentric and/or inclined orbits.  If gas is present during scattering events, a wide range of nebular shocks will be produced.  Any solids that pass through these shocks can be significantly altered by rapid melting followed by crystallization during cooling. Some of the resulting solids should be incorporated into meteoritic parent

Kepler Strikes Exoplanetary Gold: Systems of Multiple Transiting Planets

Speaker: 
Darin Ragozzine (University of Florida)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2013-01-21 16:00 - 17:10
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Brett Gladman
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

Planets that "transit" or cross in front of their parent star are extremely valuable for studying exoplanets beyond our own Solar System. By simultaneously observing over 160,000 stars almost continuously for 1.5 years, the Kepler Space Telescope has discovered 2700+ transiting exoplanet candidates, as of January 2013. One of the most exciting new results are 1000+ planet candidates around stars with more than one transiting

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.
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