Colloquia Schedule Spring 2014

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

Jan. 14

No talk scheduled.


Jan. 21

"The Connection between Star Formation and the Cold Interstellar Medium in Nearby Galaxies"


Karin Sandstrom

University of Arizona

host: Shardha Jogee

Jan. 28

"The Unusual Eclipser of the Young Star J1407: Moon-forming Circumplanetary Disk?"


Eric Mamajek

University of Rochester

host: TBA

Feb. 4

"A Calibration of the Stellar-mass Fundamental Plane at z = 0.4 using the Micro-lensing Induced Flux Ratio Anomalies of Macro-lensed Quasars"


Paul L. Schechter

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

host: Pawan Kumar

Feb. 11

Tinsley Visiting Scholar, Interstellar Matter Group

"Volatiles in Protoplanetary Disks"


Klaus Pontoppidan

Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

host: Neal Evans

Feb. 18

DeVaucouleurs Medalist: COLLOQUIUM

"Connecting Gas to Stars in Galaxies"


Robert C. Kennicutt, Jr.

University of Cambridge, UK

host: Neal Evans

Feb. 19
CPE 2.208
4:00 PM

DeVaucouleurs Medalist: PUBLIC LECTURE

"The Hidden Universe Revealed"


Robert C. Kennicutt, Jr.

University of Cambridge, UK

host: Neal Evans

Feb. 25

"The Seeds of Massive Galaxies"


Sadegh Khochfar

University of Edinburgh

host: Shardha Jogee

Mar. 4

"Our Galactic Supermassive Black Hole Sgr A*: The Ideal Testbed for Theories of Accretion and Black Hole Life Cycles"


Sera Markoff

University of Amsterdam

host: Pawan Kumar

Mar. 11

Spring Break: 10-14 March: No talk scheduled.

Mar. 18

"Rest-frame Optical Spectra: A Window into Galaxy Formation at z~2"


Alice E. Shapley

University of California, Los Angeles

host: Steve Finkelstein

Mar. 25

Tinsley Visiting Scholar, Stars Group

"Hunting the First Generations of Stars and Galaxies"

The new Australian SkyMapper 1.3m telescope is carrying out a photometric survey of the entire Southern Sky. By using a ugriz filter plus an additionally narrow filter placed at the Ca K line at 3933A, stellar parameters can be obtained for all stars observed. This allows for an efficient selection of a variety of stellar types, including metal-poor stars. Recent efforts to search for the most metal-poor stars have indeed delivered a new record holder for the most iron-poor star: no iron lines were detected in the high-resolution follow-up Magellan spectrum and only an upper limit of [Fe/H]<-7.1 could be determined. Contrary to its iron deficiency, the star has a significant amount of carbon. This abundance pattern can be explained with the star being a second-generation star in the universe which formed from a gas cloud enriched by only one Pop III first star. What was the environment in which these early stellar generations formed? A spectroscopic study of the faintest dwarf galaxy Segue 1 has shed light on this question. Given the chemical abundance patterns of some of its only few stars (with metallicities ranging from -4 < [Fe/H] < -1) this suggests that this tiny galaxy may be a surviving first galaxy from the early universe. This suggestion is in line with recent age measurements for a similar ultra-faint dwarf which showed these galaxies to be single-age stellar systems that are about as old as the universe itself.


Anna Frebel

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

host: Fritz Benedict

Apr. 1

"Shadows of Their Future Selves: Accretion and Obscuration in Young Stellar Objects"


Kevin R. Covey

Lowell Observatory

host: Adam Kraus

Apr. 8

"Head in the Clouds: Decoding the Spectral Features Produced by Brown Dwarf and Exoplanent Atmospheres"


Kelle Cruz

Hunter College/AMNH

host: Adam Kraus

Apr. 15

"Hunting the First Galaxies with Gravitational Lensing"


Dan A. Coe

Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

host: Steve Finkelstein

Apr. 22

Tinsley Visiting Professor

Title: TBA


Mark E. Dickinson

National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)

host: TBA

Apr. 23
3 PM

Tinsley Visiting Scholar, Exgal Group

"MaNGA: Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory An IFU Survey of 10,000 Galaxies"


Kevin A. Bundy

University of Tokyo, IPMU

host: Niv Drory

Apr. 25
2 PM

Tinsley Visiting Scholar, Planets Group

"Extrasolar Planets with Small Telescopes"


Gaspar Bakos

Princeton University

host: Mike Endl

Apr. 29

Title: TBA


Milos Milosavljevic

University of Texas at Austin

host: TBA

May 6

Title: TBA


Eugene Oks

Auburn University

host: Don Winget

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


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