Events Archive

Extreme Exoplanetary Systems: Hot Jupiters, Star-Disk-Binary Interactions and Circumbinary Planets

Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm

131A Campbell Hall

Dong Lai (Cornell)

Observations over the last decade have revealed exoplanetary systems that are completely different from our own Solar System. These extreme planetary systems are changing our view of planetary formation. I will focus on hot Jupiters, giant planets in close orbits around their host stars (period about 5 days). Many hot Jupiter systems are found to have highly misaligned orbital axes relative to …

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The Increasing Complexity of Exoplanet Atmospheres

Thu, Mar 19, 2015

1 LeConte Hall

Emily Rauscher (University of Michigan)

 While there are now many types of exoplanets that have been discovered, the "hot Jupiter" class remains a focus for observers and theorists alike. This partly because these are inherently interesting objects, completely unlike anything in our solar system, but also because these are the best targets for atmospheric characterization. The atmospheric properties of bright …

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Department Lunch Talk

Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 12:30 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Dick McCray (UC Berkeley)
Mike McCourt (Harvard)
Ryan Trainor (UC Berkeley)

Dick McCray (UC Berkeley): “SN1987A environmental impact” Mike McCourt (Harvard): "Going with the flow: using gas clouds to probe the accretion flow feeding Sgr A∗" Ryan Trainor (UC Berkeley): "The Escape of Gas and Photons from Faint Galaxies”

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Leveraging the Power of a Planet Population: Compositions, Mass-Radius Relation, and Host Star Multiplicity of Kepler's Super-Earths

Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 3:00 pm

131A Campbell Hall

Angie Wolfgang (UCSC)

 The Kepler Mission has found thousands of planetary candidates with radii between 1 and 4 times that of Earth. These planets have no analogues in our Solar System, providing a potentially revolutionary opportunity to assess planet formation and evolution processes for a new planetary population. By coupling theoretical work with sophisticated statistical modeling, we place quantitative …

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Earth-size Exoplanets

Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm

1 LeConte Hall

Andrew Howard (IfA)

 Earth-size exoplanets and their slightly larger ‘super-Earth’ cousins are the most abundant planets orbiting close to Sun-like stars. These planets have diverse physical compositions, unusual atmospheres, and poorly understood origins. My talk will trace the discovery and early characterization of these small worlds through Doppler surveys, the Kepler mission, and atmospheric …

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Department Lunch 2/26

Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Sanch Borthakur (UC Berkeley)
Isaac Shivvers (UC Berkeley)
Tim Davis (Hertfordshire)

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Cosmic Neutrino Wakes

Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 1:10 pm

131A Campbell Hall

Ue Li Pen (CITA)

We present a neutrino-dark matter relative motion effect, which leads to dipolar wakes around dark matter halos, an dipole correlation anisotropy, and other potentially observable outcomes. We present recent attempts to simulate this non-linear effect. 

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Engines, Lighthouses, and Laboratories: Massive Stars Across the Cosmos

Emily Levesque Colloquium

Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm

131A Campbell Hall

Emily Levesque (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Massive stars are vital building blocks in our universe, with applications as astrophysical tools that span a broad range of subfields. The radiative signatures of star-forming galaxies are powered by their massive stellar populations. Transient phenomena act as observational beacons, ranging from local non-terminal events signaling the death throes of extreme massive stars to long-duration …

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What drives the evolution of the Milky Way’s disk?

Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 4:00 pm

1 LeConte Hall

Jo Bovy (IAS)

Observations of the structure and dynamics of different stellar populations in the Milky Way's disk provide a unique perspective on disk formation, evolution, and dynamics. I will review our current knowledge of the chemo-orbital structure of the disk. I will then discuss new measurements of the kinematics and chemistry of intermediate-age stars over a large part of the Galactic disk from the …

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Department Lunch 2/19

Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 12:30 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Dick Plambeck (UC Berkeley)
Jon Mauerhan (UC Berkeley)
Alexander Kaurov (U. of Chicago)

Dick Plambeck (UC Berkeley): "Probing the Parsec-scale Accretion Flow of 3C 84 with Millimeter Wavelength Polarimetry" Alexander Tchekovskoy (UC Berkeley) - "What Makes Astrophysical Jets Dance and Why Should We Care?" Alexander Kaurov (U. Chicago) - "Analytical models of reionization in the service of numerical simulations"

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Small Planets, Small Stars

Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm

131A Campbell Hall

Ian Crossfield

Small stars and small planets are ubiquitous in the Galaxy. Planets smaller than ~2.5 Earth radii occur more frequently than any other type of planet; stars with masses below ~0.4 Solar masses are the most common type of star. Nonetheless we know much less about the formation, evolution, interior composition, atmospheric makeup, and population trends of M dwarf planetary systems than we do for …

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Origins and Demographics of Super-Earth and Sub-Neptune Sized Planets

Leslie Rogers Colloquium

Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 4:10 am

1 LeConte Hall

Leslie Rogers (Caltech)

Sub-Neptune, super-Earth-size exoplanets are a new planet class. Though absent from the Solar System, they are found by microlensing, radial velocity, and transit surveys to be common around distant stars. The nature of planets in this regime is not known; terrestrial super-Earths, mini-Neptunes with hydrogen-helium gas layers, and water-worlds with several tens of percent water by mass are …

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Long Term Evolution of Compact Planetary Systems

Brad Hansen Poster

Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm

131A Campbell Hall

Brad Hansen (UCLA)

The origin of the recently discovered population of planetary systems composed of multiple low mass planets in compact configurations is a subject of active debate. A proper consideration of this question must also account for various processes that sculpt the configurations between their origin and observation.   I will describe a set of calculations to study how the effects of tidal …

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Thursday (2/5) Department Lunch

Department Lunch Description

Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 12:30 pm

131 Campbell Hall

UC Berkeley Astronomy

 Come join us for our weekly Department Lunch talk featuring the following speakers: Melissa Graham (UC Berkeley) - "Constraining the Progenitor Companion of the Nearby Type Ia SN\,2011fe with a Kiloday Nebular Spectrum" Jason Wang (UC Berkeley) - "Probing the AU Microscopii Debris Disk at Close Separations with the Gemini Planet Imager" Jack Welch and …

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Lessons in Near-Field Cosmology from Simulating the Local Group

Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm

B1 Hearst Field Annex

Studies of the Milky Way (MW) and Andromeda (M31) galaxies, along with their associated satellites and nearby dwarf galaxies, have proven immensely useful for constraining the cosmology of the Universe, particularly on small scales. I will present a number of simulations, many of which are a part of the ELVIS Suite, cosmological zoom-in simulations of Local Group-like volumes of MW/M31 pairs. …

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