Events Archive

Tidal/Rotational Distortion and Interior Modeling from Shape and Gravity

Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 3:00 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Doug Hemingway (UC Berkeley)

Synchronous satellites experience both rotational flattening and permanent tidal elongation, the magnitudes of which carry information about the deep internal structure. For icy satellites like Enceladus, additional shape and gravity anomalies can arise from variations in the thickness of the icy crust. Using a self-consistency argument, we separate the observed shape and gravity anomalies in …

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Dwarf galaxies and their satellites as extreme probes of LCDM

Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Laura Sales (Riverside)

Dwarf galaxies are extremely diverse in their morphology, from rotationally-supported star-forming disks to gas-free spheroidal stellar systems with no star-formation and negligible rotation. We use cosmological hydrodynamical simulations to show that environment plays a significant role on the assembly history, star formation and globular cluster population of dwarfs, solving a long-standing …

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Revolutionizing Our View of Solar System Birth and Multiple Star Formation

Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 12:00 pm

131 Campbell Hall

John Tobin (Leiden)

Proto-planetary disks are the birthplaces of planetary systems and they are thought to form at the onset of star formation due to conservation of angular momentum. These very young disks may also be massive enough to be gravitationally unstable due to the rapid infall of mass from the collapsing cloud, enabling companion stars and possibly giant planets to form …

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The Milky Way Laboratory

Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 4:00 pm

1 LeConte Hall

Cara Battersby (Harvard CfA)

Our home Galaxy, the Milky Way, is our closest laboratory for studying physical processes throughout the Universe.  Submillimeter observations of the cool, dense gas and dust in our Milky Way provide insights on universal processes including how stars form in both 'regular' and 'extreme' environments and how gas is organized on galactic scales.  On a tour through our …

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`Retired’ Planet Hosts: Not So Massive, Maybe Just Portly After Lunch

Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm

131 Campbell Hall

James Lloyd (Cornell, Miller Professor)

Studies of the planet abundance as a function of stellar mass have shown a strong increase in the frequency of radial velocity planets around stars more massive than 1.5 times the mass of the sun, and that such stars are deficit in short period planets. These planet searches have relied on subgiant and giant stars for a sample of high mass stars, which are otherwise hostile to precision …

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ν Physics in the CMB

Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Daniel Green (CITA/Berkeley)

I will describe the measurement of the cosmic neutrino background using the CMB and the implications for beyond the Standard Model physics. I will explain the importance of a CMB Stage IV experiment for these goals.

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Exoplanets: Under a Microscope, and Through a Wide-field Lens

Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Sarah Ballard (MIT)

The Solar System furnishes the most familiar planetary architecture: many planets, orbiting nearly coplanar to one another. We can examine the composition and atmospheres of the Solar System planets in detail, even occasionally in situ. Studies of planets orbiting other stars (exoplanets), in contrast, only begin to approach the precision of humanity's knowledge of Earth five hundred years …

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The Frequency and Composition of Small Exoplanets

Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 4:00 pm

1 LeConte Hall

Courtney Dressing (Caltech)

Over the past twenty years, ground- and space-based investigations have revealed that our galaxy is teeming with planetary systems and that Earth-sized planets are common. I will focus on the results of the NASA Kepler mission and describe two investigations of the frequency and composition of small planets. First, I analyzed Kepler observations of small stars and measured …

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Department Lunch Talk 1-28

Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 12:30 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Katherine de Kleer (UC Berkeley)
Reinhard Genzel (UC Berkeley)
Paul Kalas (UC Berkeley)

The Department Lunch Talk series is a weekly event that features three 20 minute talks presented mainly by local scientists of any level to present their work to a broad spectrum of the department and usually includes one short talk by the astronomy colloquium speaker of the day.  Subjects can include personal scientific research, reporting on other work appearing in journals, education and public outreach efforts, science policy, and professional development issues.

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Orbital and Tidal Evolution of Enceladus

Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 3:00 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Jim Fuller (Caltech)
Jing Luan (UC Berkeley)

Activity on Enceladus is closely linked with its orbital evolution, which is driven by tidal effects within both Saturn and Enceladus. The basic picture is that Enceladus migrates outward due to tidal dissipation within Saturn. The outward migration drives Enceladus into a 2:1 mean motion resonance with Dione, which excites the eccentricity of Enceladus. The finite orbital eccentricity leads …

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Recent results on the properties of z~1-2 star forming galaxy population

Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Reinhard Genzel (UC Berkeley)

I will discuss recent results of the KMOS-3D and PHIBSS surveys relating to the properties of the massive star forming population at the peak of cosmic star formation activity. Topics will be the angular momentum distribution, rotation curves, baryon fraction, gas content and outflows.

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Holiday Tales of Planet Formation: Feast, Famine, or…?

Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 4:00 pm

1 LeConte Hall

Joan Najita (NOAO)

The large number and diversity of planetary systems discovered to date present new challenges for planet formation theory. Core accretion remains the dominant paradigm of planet formation, despite these challenges. Yet what evidence do we have that core accretion actually occurs? I will discuss observations of nearby protoplanetary disks that may address this question. I will also illustrate …

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Department Lunch Talk 1-21

Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 12:30 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Imke de Pater (UC Berkeley)
Joan Najita (NOAO)
Manuel Rabold (Zurich)

The Department Lunch Talk series is a weekly event that features three 20 minute talks presented mainly by local scientists of any level to present their work to a broad spectrum of the department and usually includes one short talk by the astronomy colloquium speaker of the day.  Subjects can include personal scientific research, reporting on other work appearing in journals, education and public outreach efforts, science policy, and professional development issues.

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A Decade and More of Enceladus: Observance of a Habitable World

Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Carolyn Porco (CICLOPS)

For the past 11 years, the full-suite of scientific investigations onboard the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn has been brought to bear in the examination of the small icy moon, Enceladus. The information collected from these instruments --  high resolution imagers; ultraviolet, visible, near- and far-infrared spectrometers; in-situ mass spectrometers; small particle analyzers; Doppler radio …

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From Puff-Ball Neptunes to Earth-sized Rocky planets: Exoplanets in the Kepler Era

Sat, Jan 16, 2016 at 11:00 am

159 Mulford Hall

Howard Isaacson (UC Berkeley)

Since the discovery of the first exoplanet around a Sun-like star in 1995, ground-based surveys and space-based telescopes have discovered thousands of planets outside of our Solar System. The properties of exoplanets range far beyond what we see in the Solar System. From Jupiter-sized planets nearly touching their stars, to gaseous mini-Neptunes, the variety of discoveries continues to …

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