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"

Volatiles are compounds with low sublimation temperatures, and they make up most of the condensible mass in typical planet-forming environments. They consist of relatively small, often hydrogenated, molecules based on the abundant elements carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. Volatiles are central to the process of planet formation, forming the backbone of a rich chemistry that sets the initial conditions for the formation of planetary atmospheres, and act as a solid mass reservoir catalyzing the formation of planets and planetesimals. In the past few years that representative samples of molecules have been discovered in great abundance throughout protoplanetary disks (CO, H2O, HCN, C2H2, CO2, HCO+) - enough to begin building a complete budget for the most abundant elements after hydrogen and helium. The spatial distributions of key volatiles are being mapped, snow lines are directly seen and quantified, and distinct chemical regions within protoplanetary disks are being identified, characterized and modeled. Theoretical processes invoked to explain the solar system record are now being observationally constrained in protoplanetary disks, including transport of icy bodies and concentration of bulk condensibles. The balance between chemical reset - processing of inner disk material strong enough to destroy its memory of past chemistry, and inheritance - the chemically gentle accretion of pristine material from the interstellar medium in the outer disk, ultimately determines the final composition of pre-planetary matter. I will discuss how these advances in observations of protoplanetary disks help us to better understand exoplanetary systems as well as our own solar system.


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"


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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