Colloquia Schedule Spring 2015

Colloquia are on Tuesdays (unless otherwise indicated) at 3:30 pm in RLM 15.216B

Jan. 20

Tinsley Visiting Scholar: Planetary Group

"Habitability of Planets Orbiting M Dwarfs"

Current and future exoplanet surveys favor the discovery of potentially habitable planets around M dwarfs, which can then be spectroscopically characterized by JWST. This observation is so challenging that only ~1 planet is likely to be measured during the mission lifetime. Thus, prioritizing M dwarf planets for follow-up is a crucial step toward the discovery of an inhabited exoplanet. Identifying habitable planets begins with locating the planet's orbit relative to its star's "habitable zone." However, the habitable zone is only a zeroth order approximation for planetary habitability, i.e rocky worlds with liquid surface water. Many phenomena impact the stability and longevity of surface water, including processes that are negligible on Earth. M dwarfs can cool significantly during their first gigayear, which can strip giant planet atmospheres to reveal a rocky core, or can permanently desiccate terrestrial exoplanets. Tidal torques can circularize orbits, damp obliquities, and lock rotation periods at relatively large values. Tidal heating can be significant, even driving a runaway greenhouse independent of stellar radiation. In more modest cases, tidal heating can significantly alter the thermal cooling of the interior and suppress magnetic field generation, especially in multiplanet systems. Careful modeling of these phenomena can determine the best candidate(s) for transit transmission spectroscopy.

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Rory Barnes

University of Washington

host: Mike Endl

Jan. 27

"Title: TBA"

abstract

David W. Hogg

New York University

host: Shardha Jogee

Feb. 3

"Title: TBA"

abstract

Speaker: TBD

Affiliation: TBD

host: TBA

Feb. 10

"Title: TBA"

abstract

Speaker: TBD

Affiliation: TBD

host: TBA

Feb. 17

"Title: TBA"

abstract

Speaker: TBD

Affiliation: TBD

host: TBA

Feb. 24

"Title: TBA"

abstract

Speaker: TBD

Affiliation: TBD

host: TBA

Mar. 3

"Title: TBA"

abstract

Speaker: TBD

Affiliation: TBD

host: TBA

Mar. 10

"Title: TBA"

abstract

Sera Markoff

University of Amsterdam

host: Pawan Kumar

Mar. 17

Spring Break: March 16 - 20: no Colloquium being held this week.

Mar. 24

"MOSFIRE, the Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infrared Exploration at Keck Observatory"

abstract

Ian McLean

University of California, Los Angeles

host: Gregory Mace

Mar. 31

Tinsley Visiting Scholar: Stars Group

"Title: TBA"

abstract

Raffaele Gratton

INAF - Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Italy

host: Chris Sneden

Apr. 7

"Title: TBA"

abstract

Speaker: TBD

Affiliation: TBD

host: TBA

Apr. 14

"Title: TBA"

abstract

Adam Leroy

Ohio State University

host: Neal Evans

Apr. 21

"Title: TBA"

abstract

Catherine Espaillat

Boston University

host: Adam Kraus

Apr. 28

"Title: TBA"

abstract

Speaker: TBD

Affiliation: TBD

host: TBA

May. 5

"Title: TBA"

abstract

Lars Hernquist

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

host: Volker Bromm

Visitors to the Department of Astronomy can find detailed information and maps on our Visiting Austin Page.

Please report omissions/corrections to: G. Orris at argus@astro.as.utexas.edu.

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