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Astrophysics Science Division Colloquium Series
Schedule: September 2008

Astrophysics Science Division Colloquium Series
Schedule: September 2008


Through the courtesy of the speakers since 2004, some presentations are available on line.

Future schedules:

  • 2008, Fourth Quarter
  • Recent schedules:

  • 2008, Second Quarter
  • 2008, First Quarter

  • ASD Colloquia are Tuesdays at 3:45 pm (Meet the Speaker at 3:30 pm)
    in Bldg 21, Room 183 unless otherwise noted.

    September

    Sept 2 Leslie Sage (Nature) - How to Publish in Nature
    Sept 9
    Christopher Stubbs (Harvard Univ.) - Exploring Fundamental Physics with Astrophysical Techniques
    Sept 16
    Alan Kogut (GSFC) - Inflation, Gravity Waves, and the Cosmic Microwave Background
    Sept 23
    Margaret Meixner (STScI) - Space Telescope Science Institute -- Spitzer Survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud, Surveying the Agents of a Galaxy's Evolution (SAGE)
    Sept 30
    Andy Smith (UMD) - A wide-field view of the TeV sky: The results of the Milagro Experiment

    How to Publish in Nature

    Leslie Sage

    Nature Magazine

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    Abstract

    TBD

    Exploring Fundamental Physics with Astrophysical Techniques

    Christopher Stubbs

    Harvard University

    Tuesday, September 9, 2008

    Abstract

    The best evidence we have for physics beyond the standard model comes from astrophysical observation: Dark Energy, Dark Matter, and even the abundance of matter over antimatter are each indications of shortcomings in our understanding of basic physics. I will describe our efforts to understand the nature of the Dark Energy, and why this particular problem merits our collective attention. I'll also present the status of PanSTARRS and LSST, two ambitious ground-based optical systems that will provide new capabilities for studying diverse topics in astronomy and astrophysics.

    Inflation, Gravity Waves, and the Cosmic Microwave Background

    Alan Kogut

    GSFC

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Abstract

    The polarization of the cosmic microwave background contains a contribution from gravity waves excited during the epoch of inflation, shortly after the Big Bang. A positive detection of this signal would have extraordinary consequences for both cosmology and physics: not only would it establish inflation as a physical reality, but it would also provide a model-independent determination of the relevant energy scale. I will present the scientific motivation behind measurements of the CMB polarization and discuss how recent experimental progress could lead to a detection of the inflationary signal in the not-very-distant future.

    Spitzer Survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud, Surveying the Agents of a Galaxy's Evolution (SAGE)

    Margaret Meixner

    Space Telescope Science Institute

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Abstract

    The recycling of matter between the interstellar medium (ISM) and stars are key evolutionary drivers of a galaxy's visible matter. The SAGE team is performing a Spitzer Legacy imaging survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), using the IRAC (3.6, 4.5, 5.8 and 8 microns) and MIPS (24, 70, and 160 microns) instruments on board Spitzer. The Spitzer wavelengths provide a sensitive probe of circumstellar and interstellar dust and hence, allows us to study the physical processes of the ISM, the formation of new stars and the injection of mass by evolved stars and their relationships on the galaxy-wide scale of the LMC. Due to its proximity, favorable viewing angle, multi-wavelength information, and measured tidal interactions with the Milky Way (MW) and Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), the LMC is uniquely suited for surveying the agents of a galaxy's evolution (SAGE), the ISM and stars. Our uniform and unbiased survey of the LMC (7x7 degrees) will have much better wavelength coverage, up to ~1000 times better point source sensitivity and ~11 times better angular resolution than previous IR surveys. SAGE will reveal over 6 million sources including ~150,000 evolved stars, ~50,000 young stellar objects and the diffuse ISM with column densities >1.2x10^{21} H/cm^2. The diffuse IR emission in the LMC can be associated with individual gas/dust clouds, thereby permitting unique studies of dust processes in the ISM. SAGE's complete census of newly formed stars with masses >1-3 Msun will reveal whether tidally-triggered star formation events in the LMC are sustained or short-lived. SAGE's complete census of evolved stars with mass loss rates >1x10^{-8} Msun/yr will quantitatively measure the rate at which evolved stars inject mass into the ISM. In this talk, I will present an overview of the SAGE survey including preliminary results on ISM, star formation and evolved stars.

    A wide-field view of the TeV sky: The results of the Milagro Experiment

    Andy Smith

    University of Maryland

    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Abstract

    TBA


    Randall Smith
    NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration