Colloquia Schedule Fall 2012

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

Sep. 4

"Finding and Characterizing the Sources of the Ionizing Background with Keck and HST"


Brian Siana

University of California, Riverside

host: Steve Finkelstein

Sep. 11

1. "Investigating the Early Universe with Lyman-alpha Emission: Galactic Winds and Stellar Populations at z ~ 3.1"
2. "Two Can't Play That Game: The Perils of Planet Formation in Binary Environments"
3. "Magnetic Fields in the Milky Way"


1. Emily McLinden, 2. Stefano Meschiari, and 3. Michael Pavel

University of Texas at Austin

host: Sarah Tuttle

Sep. 18

"Star Formation, Near and Far (y un anyo en Ame'rica del Sur)"


Neal Evans

University of Texas at Austin

host: Steve Finkelstein

Sep. 25

"Measuring Galaxy Evolution from Modern Near-IR Surveys"


Casey Papovich

Texas A&M University

host: Steve Finkelstein

Oct. 2

"Carbon Stars and Dust Production in the Local Group"


Gregory C. Sloan

Cornell University

host: Harriet Dinerstein

Oct. 9

"Peering Through the EoR Window with the Murchison Widefield Array"


Miguel F. Morales

University of Washington

host: Neal Evans

Oct. 16

"HETDEX Status"


Karl Gebhardt & Gary Hill

University of Texas at Austin

host: Steve Finkelstein

Oct. 23

"Stellar Feedback and the Ecology of the Galactic ISM"

Large-scale surveys of the Milky Way complemented by high-resolution studies of small fields are revolutionizing our understanding of the Galactic interstellar medium (ISM) and star formation. There are no "initial conditions" for star formation. Every state of the ISM is dynamic and an evolutionary consequence of a prior state in the Galactic Ecology powered by galactic processes and super-bubbles created by massive star-clusters and OB associations. Most stars form in transient clusters produced by the gravitational collapse and fragmentation of dense clumps in giant molecular clouds (GMCs). I will describe the feedback ladder - a chain of increasingly powerful mechanisms regulating cloud properties, stellar mass, the star formation efficiency, and on its highest rung, responsible for the Galactic ecology. A cautionary tale for extra-galactic studies: In the ultra-dense clouds surrounding our Galactic center, the predictive power of the Schmidt-Kennicutt relations appears to fail. Yet, star formation may limit the growth of the central black hole and limit its influence on our Galaxy's ISM. I will discuss the feedback mechanisms by which star formation is self-regulated and the formation, evolution, and destruction of GMCs in the Solar vicinity, including protostellar outflows, FUV and EUV radiation, and the relationship of the nearby star-forming complexes to the local super-bubbles such as Orion, Sco-Cen, Per OB2, and the even older "fossil" bubble associated with the Gould's Belt / Cas-Tau fossil OB association.


John Bally

University of Colorado, Boulder

host: Keely Finkelstein

Oct. 30

"Obesity in the Universe: Why Did Early-Type Galaxies Grow in Size?"


Richard Ellis

California Institute of Technology

host: Paul Shapiro

Nov. 6

"The Gaseos Environment of Distant Galaxies"


Michele Fumagalli

University of California, Santa Cruz

host: Chris Sneden

Nov. 13

"Cassini-Huygens explores the Saturn System: Recent Discoveries and Science Highlights"


Linda Spilker

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

host: Bill Cochran

Nov. 20

"Exploring Galactic Chemical and Dynamical Evolution: Pre and Post SDSS-III/APOGEE"


Peter Frinchaboy

Texas Christian University

host: Chris Sneden

Nov. 27

"Understanding Galaxy Clusters, the Most Massive Objects in the Universe"


Lindsay King

University of Texas, Dallas

host: Karl Gebhardt

Dec. 4

"Galaxy Formation: Physics and Numerics"


Dusan Keres

University of California, San Diego

host: Karl Gebhardt

Dec. 10

"Ultrahigh Energy Cosmic Rays, Pulsars, and Supernovae"


Kumiko Kotera

Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris

host: Milos Milosavljevic

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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