Colloquia Schedule Fall 2011

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

Aug. 30

Not your Parents' M Dwarfs: Probing the Milky Way with its Smallest Constituents (Cancelled due to Hurricane Irene: to be rescheduled)


Andrew A. West

Boston University

host: Colette Salyk

Sept. 6

Maxwell, Einstein, and Their Impossibilities


Mark G. Raizen

Center for Nonlinear Dynamics & Dept. of Physics, University of Texas at Austin

hosts: Paul Shapiro & Tanja Rindler-Daller

Sept. 13

Dark Matter, Dwarf Galaxies, and Massive Failures in the Halo of the Milky Way


James S. Bullock

University of California, Irvine

host: TBD

Sept. 20

Black Hole Scaling Relations


Kayhan Gultekin

University of Michigan

host: Karl Gebhardt

Sept. 27

The Quest for the Dynamical Signature of Close Supermassive Binary Black Holes


Michael Eracleous

Pennsylvania State University

host: Julie Comerford

Oct. 4

What is a Galaxy?


Beth Willman

Haverford College

host: TBD

Oct. 11

No talk scheduled, to avoid conflict with Frank N. Bash Symposium
(held: October 9-11, 2011).

Oct. 18

Status update on the James Webb Space Telescope project


Jane Rigby

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

host: TBD

Oct. 25

GAMA: from Little Blue Fuzzies to Massive Red Monsters and Beyond


Sarah Brough

Swinburne University

host: Karl Gebhardt

Nov. 1

Casting Shadows on the Standard Interstellar Medium Paradigm with GALFA-HI


Joshua E. G. Peek

Columbia University

host: Sarah Tuttle

Nov. 8

Beatrice M. Tinsley Visiting Scholar

The Origins of Planetary Systems - Constraints from Protoplanetary Disks


Ilaria Pascucci

University of Arizona

host: John Lacy

Nov. 15

No talk scheduled.

Nov. 22

No talk scheduled.

Nov. 29

Stellar Forensics with Explosions: Supernovae, Gamma-Ray Bursts, and their Environments

Long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and Type Ib/c Supernovae (SN Ib/c) are nature's most magnificent explosions from massive stars. While GRBs launch relativistic jets, SN Ib/c are core-collapse explosions whose progenitors have been stripped of their hydrogen and helium envelopes. Yet for over a decade, one of the key outstanding questions is what conditions lead to each kind of explosion in massive stripped stars. Determining the fates of massive stars is not only a vibrant topic in itself, but also impacts using GRBs as star formation indicators over distances up to 13 billion light-years and for mapping the chemical enrichment history of the universe.

I will present a number of comprehensive observational studies that probe the progenitor environments, their metallicities and the explosion geometries of SN with and without GRBs, as well as those of normal SNe Ib/c, with the goal to constrain their progenitor systems. Furthermore, I will discuss SN 2008D, which was discovered serendipitously with the NASA Swift satellite via its X-ray emission from shock breakout, has generated great interest amongst both observers and theorists and constitutes a novel technique for stellar forensics whose value I will demonstrate. I will conclude with an outlook on how the most promising venues of research - using the many existing and upcoming large-scale surveys such as PTF and LSST - will shed new light on the diverse deaths of massive stars.


Maryam Modjaz

New York University, Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics

host: Sarah Tuttle

Dec. 13

HETDEX Special Colloquium

Astrophotonics and Space Photonics: A New Era of Instrumentation


Lisa Fogarty

University of Sydney, School of Physics

host: Sarah Tuttle

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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