Spring 2021
Date Speaker/Title/Abstract
01/26/2021 Prof. Adam Helfer
A theorist’s perspective on the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics
02/02/2021 Prof. Adam Helfer
What does it mean to perturb a black hole?
03/02/2021 Dr. Adam Jermyn (Flatiron Institute)
Stellar evolution in AGN disks
Fall 2020
Date Speaker/Title/Abstract
09/01/2020 Prof. Adam Helfer
Gravitational radiation memory effects
09/08/2020 Prof. Haojing Yan
Changing-look Quasars
09/15/2020 Dr. John Pharo
Overdensities, Emission Lines, and Star Formation in the Faint Infrared Grism Survey
09/22/2020 Weichen Wang (Johns Hopkins University)
Galactic Winds at High Redshift: Where Do They Come from?
09/29/2020 Dr. Christina Williams (U. of Arizona / Steward Obs.)
Discovery of massive, infrared-"dark" galaxies in the early Universe, and our future view with the James Webb Space Telescope
10/06/2020 Lisa Shepard
Satellite Mega-Constellations and the Night Sky
10/13/2020 Siddhartha Gurung Lopez (MS&T)
Determining the systemic redshift of Lyman-alpha emitters with neural networks and improving the measured large-scale clustering
10/20/2020 Prof. Sergei Kopeikin
The Science of Fundamental Catalogs
10/27/2020 Lauryn Williams
REU Experience: Comparisons of Novel Imaging and Spectroscopic Infrared Eclipse Observations in 2017
11/03/2020 Dripta Bhattacharjee (MS&T)
Absolute calibration of the global network of GW detectors and its implications for LIGO science
11/10/2020 Dr. Ryan Quitzow-James (MS&T)
Search for Gravitational Waves from Magnetar Bursts
11/17/2020 TBD
12/01/2020 Dr. Xin Wang (Caltech)
Dissecting the baryon cycle and star formation on sub-kpc scales at cosmic noon with HST slitless spectroscopy
12/04/2020 Ronald Boain, alumni
The Fiery Trigon
On 21 December 2020, astronomers around the world will have the opportunity to observe one of the long running "Great Conjunctions" between Jupiter and Saturn which occurs every twenty years.  This even has more historical and astrological significance than importance to the modern study of astronomy and astrophysics.  Yet few textbook even mention this phenomenon or the long record of observations extending back well over a thousand years. This talk will provide an explanation of the underlying physical causes of this twenty year occurrence and the reason for the next conjunction in the sequence being shifted approximately 120° backwards along the ecliptic.  Additionally, it will provide an observer's guide to witnessing this year's optical conjunction on December 21st. Next, this talk will link the long series of Great Conjunctions to an event in the life of Johannes Kepler when, in 1595, he thought he had quite by accident discovered an insight to God's line of reasoning for creating a solar system with just six planets.  Kepler's interest in the Great Conjunctions persisted and in 1603 he coined the term: "fiery trigon" and drew a diagram of it in his book: De Stella Nova. Finally, Kepler was so inspired with his 1595 revelation that he wrote his first major book on astronomy: Mysterium Cosmographicum (c. 1596), which is important because it caught the eye of Tycho Brahe and later led to the two of them becoming colleagues. Zoom link: (Meeting ID: 946 1711 7774)
12/08/2020 Chenxiaoji (Jimmy) Ling
Physical Properties of Far Infrared/Sub-millimeter Galaxies in the COSMOS-DASH Field
Spring 2020
Date Speaker/Title/Abstract
02/04/2020 Prof. Adam Helfer
Hawking radiation and tunneling
02/11/2020 Prof. Adam Helfer
Hawking radiation and tunneling (II)


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