Astronomy Colloquia

BC FAMILY DAY HOLIDAY - UBC closed - No Astronomy Colloquium

Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-02-08 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Not Hennings 318 (or anywhere, for that matter).

NO ASTRONOMY COLLOQUIUM TODAY

Speaker: 
Come next week for our own Alex Mead
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-01-25 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Not Hennings 318 (or anywhere, for that matter).
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews (to blame for not recruiting someone for this date)

Hungry Black Holes & Some Adventures in Physics Education

Speaker: 
Linda Strubbe (UBC Physics & Astrnomy)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-02-29 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
A star that wanders too close to a massive black hole gets shredded by the black hole's tidal gravity, releasing a flare of energy as stellar gas accretes. How often this occurs is uncertain at present, as is the physics of such rapid accretion. Excitingly, in just the last few years, new transient surveys have started finding and following up tidal disruption event candidates in real time.

The Environment of an Unusual Starless Galactic Center Molecular Cloud

Speaker: 
Betsy Mills (Jansky Fellow, University of Arizona and Steward Observatory)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-03-21 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
The giant molecular cloud G0.253+0.016 or "The Brick" is a massive (M~10^5 solar masses) cloud in the Galactic center. Its apparent lack of star formation given its large mass makes it unique in our Galaxy, and as such it has been the subject of more than a dozen papers in just the last 3 years. The properties of this cloud are being used to understand everything from the quiescent initial stages of massive star formation to the overall evolution and orbit of clouds in the entire Galactic centre. However, its physical conditions and environment are still poorly constrained.

Non-linear cosmological structure formation

Speaker: 
Alex Mead (CITA National Fellow, UBC Physics & Astronomy)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-02-01 15:30 - 16:30
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
Cosmological weak gravitational lensing surveys use the correlated distortions of galaxy shapes to infer properties of the matter distribution in the Universe. In principle, these measurements can then be used to constrain models of the accelerated expansion, to infer the neutrino mass, and to learn about baryonic feedback processes. However, the interpretation of weak lensing data is complicated by the fact that non-linear structure along the line-of-sight contributes to the lensing signal.

Intrinsic alignments : Theoretical and numerical insights

Speaker: 
Sandrine Codis (Canadian Institue for Theoretical Astrophysics)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-04-04 15:30 - 16:30
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
In this talk, I will show how both dark matter and hydrodynamical simulations predict that the morphology of galaxies is correlated with the cosmic web. This large-scale coherence of galaxy shapes could possibly induce some non-negligible level of contamination for future cosmic shear experiments. Direct measurements of the alignment of the projected light distribution of galaxies seem to agree on a contamination at a level of a few per cent of the shear correlation functions, although the amplitude of the effect depends on the population of galaxies considered.

Hunting for the Largest Black Holes

Speaker: 
Nicholas McConnell (Plaskett Postdoctoral Fellow, National Research Council Canada, Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-03-14 15:30 - 16:30
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews and Linda Strubbe
In both the distant universe and our cosmic backyard, we find evidence for black holes as large as ~1-10 billion solar masses, dwarfing the more commonplace million-solar-mass black holes like the one at our Galactic Centre. The conventional paradigm for co-evolution of supermassive black holes and galaxies predicts that the most massive black holes presently reside in the most luminous elliptical galaxies.

Future Large Telescopes for Canada

Speaker: 
Jason Kalirai (JSWT Project Scientist at Space Telescope Science Institute)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2015-12-28 15:30 - 16:30
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Harvey Richer
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

The stars as a Sun

Speaker: 
Derek Buzasi (Florida Gulf Coast University)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-03-07 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
The star we know best is the one which is closest to us, and astronomers therefore tend to rely heavily on the Sun as a proxy for stars in general. One approach to improving our knowledge of the Sun is through the study of solar analogs, stars which are similar to our own in as many ways as we can quantify.

The GrayStar project: Moving computational stellar astrophysics into the Web browser

Speaker: 
Ian Short (St. Mary's University, Institute for Computational Astrophysics)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-01-11 15:30 - 16:15
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

The goal of the GrayStar project is to turn any WWW browser running on any device into a didactic “teaching and
learning” virtual star equipped with user-friendly input parameter knobs and instrumented with virtual observables
and more advanced modeling outputs, so that stellar astronomy instructors can use physics education research (PER)
methods in class. No special technical specifications are required of the user's device, nor any special computational
savviness on the part of the user. GrayStar3 is a physics-based general stellar atmosphere and spectral line modeling

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