Astronomy Colloquia

Early modern multiverses from Digges to Milton

Speaker: 
Dennis Danielson (UBC Department of English)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2017-01-30 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate
Defying possible charges of anachronism, I will propose that the term "multiverse" – applied to the period from Copernicus to Newton – permits us to discern more clearly how cosmological thinkers occasionally embedded (rather than merely displacing or replacing) older models of our universe within newer versions of the whole shebang. It also saves us from the incoherence of applying "universe" to multiple entities of different scales, and of calling something that is perhaps mainly chaotic a "cosmos."

Radio cosmology in South Africa

Speaker: 
Yin-Zhe Ma ( University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2017-01-23 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Douglas Scott and Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

My talk will be in two parts. PART 1: Mapping the integrated emission from redshifted neutral hydrogen is an emerging and completely independent way of optical surveys to measure Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations (BAOs) at low redshifts. The observations of the HI signal will be contaminated by instrumental noise, atmospheric noise and diffuse emissions coming from our Galaxy, which are expected to be at least four orders of magnitude brighter than the HI signal we wish to detect.

Stellar flares from Proxima Centauri and TRAPPIST-1 with MOST and Kepler

Speaker: 
James Davenport (Western Washington University)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2017-03-27 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
The MOST and Kepler space telescopes have pioneered the detection of extrasolar planets using high precision brightness monitoring of stars. With data spanning months to years for each star, these light curves also provide the best census of stellar phenomena including cool starspots and explosive flares. I will present results from studies of flares on active stars observed with Kepler and MOST, including the recently discovered exoplanet host stars TRAPPIST-1 and Proxima Centauri.

The Outer Solar System

Speaker: 
Matthew Payne (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2017-04-03 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Aaron Boley and Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
I will discuss recent discoveries arising from our detailed search of the Pan-STARRS Outer Solar System survey data. These include the discovery of several hundred Kuiper-Belt and Scattered-Disk Objects, as well as Neptune Trojans and a possible population of Centaurs that appear to occupy a common plane. In addition I will discuss the heliocentric linking methodology that has facilitated these discoveries. I will go on to discuss issues related to the putative "Planet-9", a ~10 Earth-Mass planet hypothesized to lurk unseen in a distant orbit at the edge of the Solar System.

Galaxy Fertility: Nature vs. Nurture

Speaker: 
Gary Mamon (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-01-12 12:30 - 14:00
Location: 
Hennings 301 - NOTE DIFFERENT ROOM
Local Contact: 
Ludo van Waerbeke and Jaymie Matthews
Galaxies grow by gas infall and mergers, but their growth is constrained by mechanisms that limit the supply of gas to the molecular clouds where stars are observed to form. These mechanisms can be internal feedback processes from supernova explosions and outflows from active galactic nuclei around the central supermassive black hole. But the environment of galaxies can also affect the rate of star formation in galaxies, through physical processes such as tidal stripping and ram pressure stripping that starve the galaxy from its gas supply, as well as galaxy encounters.

Measuring the geometry of the Universe with Euclid

Speaker: 
Alina Kiessling (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2017-01-16 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
The Euclid mission is a European Space Agency (ESA) led space telescope with significant contributions from NASA (and now Canada!). Euclid will use two complementary probes to study the dark sector of the Universe. The concordance model of cosmology holds that 95% percent of the Universe is made up of dark matter and dark energy, yet we understand very little about these phenomena.

THIS WEEK'S ASTRONOMY COLLOQUIUM WILL BE ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON

Speaker: 
Check the entry on 9 December for details
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-12-05 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
None today

The enigma of Fast Radio Bursts

Speaker: 
Paul Scholz (Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, Herzberg Fellow)
Event Date and Time: 
Wed, 2016-12-07 15:00 - 16:15
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Ingrid Stairs and Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

A new phenomenon has emerged in time-domain astronomy in the past few years: the Fast Radio Burst. Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are millisecond-duration radio bursts whose dispersion measures imply that they originate from far outside of the Galaxy. Their origin is as yet unknown; their durations and energetics imply that they involve compact objects, such as neutron stars or black holes. Due to the extreme luminosities implied by their distances and the previous absence of any repeat burst in follow-up observations, many potential explanations for FRBs involve one-time cataclysmic events.

The Universe of soils

Speaker: 
Phil Gregory (UBC Physics & Astronomy
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2017-02-06 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
Our originally scheduled speaker, Dr. Sandstrom has contracted pneumonia and will be unable to visit us.

Tracking Planet Footprints in Dusty Disks

Speaker: 
Catherine Espaillat (Boston University)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2017-03-13 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
We know that most stars were once surrounded by protoplanetary disks. How these young disks evolve into planetary systems is a fundamental question in astronomy. Observations of T Tauri stars (TTS) may provide insights, particularly a subset of TTS with “transitional disks” that contain holes or gaps in their dust disk. Many researchers have posited that these holes and gaps are the “footprints” of planets given that theoretical simulations predict that a young, forming planet will clear the material around itself, leaving behind a cavity in the disk.
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