Colloquia Schedule Spring 2011

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

Jan. 18

Dust in the Early Universe


Raffaella Schneider

INAF/Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma

host: Volker Bromm

Jan. 25

Magnetic Relaxation in ICM Bubbles and the Magnetic Flux Problem in Star Formation


Jonathan Braithwaite

University of Bonn (TCC Tinsley Scholar)

host: Craig Wheeler

Feb. 1

Reading the Record of Ancient Impacts


Peter Goldreich

California Institute of Technology

host: Pawan Kumar

Feb. 8

Star Formation in Galaxy Clusters Over the Past 10 Billion Years


Kim-Vy Tran

Texas A&M University and University of Zurich

host: Neal Evans

Feb. 11-12

McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors Meeting (Austin)

Feb. 12
1-2 PM
ACE 2.302

19th Annual Great Lecture in Astronomy

Exploring Newly Discovered Worlds with the Giant Magellan Telescope

Less than two decades ago, mankind knew about only one planetary system: our own. Since the discovery of the first extrasolar planets in 1995, a furious effort by the astronomical community has led to the discovery of hundreds of extrasolar planets. Many of these systems look very different from our solar system, having massive planets close to the parent stars while ours are far from the Sun, and/or planets in highly eccentric orbits, where most orbits in the Solar System are quite circular. The high contrast between the brightness of the parent stars and the faintness of the planets makes it very hard to obtain concrete information about the planets themselves: How and when do they form? How massive and how dense are they? How hot are they? Do they have atmospheres and what are these atmospheres made of? A new generation of large ground-based telescopes, including the Giant Magellan Telescope, in which UT Austin and Texas A&M are partners, will afford us the first direct measurements that can address all of these questions for exoplanets approaching the size and mass of planets like the Earth but residing in star systems many light years away. GMT in particular, with its superb high-contrast imaging and its Innovative capabilities for infrared spectroscopy, will be able to move us from an era of detection to one of real exploration. I will discuss the exciting future of extrasolar-planet studies and how it builds on the solid foundation of the current exoplanet research that forms an important part of the current program in Texas.


Daniel Jaffe

University of Texas at Austin

Feb. 15

Is Inhomogeneity Important in Cosmology?


George F. R. Ellis

University of Cape Town

host: Tanja Rindler-Daller

Feb. 16
3:15 PM

Exploration of the Circum-Galactic Medium at High Redshifts


Charles Steidel

California Institute of Technology (Tinsley Visiting Professor)

host: Karl Gebhardt

Feb. 22

Clarifying our View of Star Formation in Extreme Environments with Adaptive Optics


Jessica Lu

California Institute of Technology

host: Jenny Greene

Mar. 1

DeVaucouleurs Medalist

Chemical Abundances in the Oldest Galactic Stars: Globular Clusters vs. the Halo Field


Robert Kraft


host: Chris Sneden

Mar. 8

DEEP2 and Beyond: Studying Galaxy Evolution and Large-Scale Structure with Deep Surveys


Jeffrey A. Newman

University of Pittsburgh (TCC Visiting Speaker)

host: Eiichiro Komatsu

Mar. 15

Spring Break: 14-18 March: No talk scheduled

Mar. 22

Diverse Energy Sources for Supernovae


Lars Bildsten

UCSB/Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (Tinsley Visiting Professor)

host: Donald Winget

Mar. 24
Public Talk
RLM 4.102
7:00 PM

Exploding Stars!


Lars Bildsten

UCSB/Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (Tinsley Visiting Professor)

host: Donald Winget

Mar. 29

Recent Advances in our Understanding of Enigmatic Gamma-ray Bursts


Pawan Kumar

University of Texas at Austin

host: TBD

Apr. 5

Physical Properties of Kepler's Small Exoplanets


Dimitar D. Sasselov

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

host: Jenny Greene

Apr. 12

The Physical Properties of Lyman-alpha Emitters from z=2 to 3


Caryl Gronwall

Pennsylvania State University

host: Karl Gebhardt

Apr. 19

Thermal Tides: An Explanation for the Inflated Radii of the Hot Jupiters


Aristotle Socrates

Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

host: Jenny Greene

Apr. 26

Magnetic Reconnection and the Evolution of Large Scale Magnetic Fields


Ethan Vishniac

McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

host: Craig Wheeler

May 3

Title: TBA

Speaker: TBD

Affiliation: TBD

host: TBD

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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