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Astronomy Events

Spring 2022

Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics in the 2020's
January 24, 2022 11:30 am (CDT) Hawking Auditorium
Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics in the 2020’s

Speaker: Rob Kennicutt (Texas A&M University)Host: Stephanie Ho

Recently the National Academy of Sciences completed a comprehensive decadal survey of research opportunities, strategic opportunities, and the state of the profession in astronomy and astrophysics.  The survey involved more than 130 members of the survey committee and its 13 sub-panels, and was informed by more than 860 white papers [...]
Exploding Stars and Catastrophic Collisions
January 31, 2022 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)
Exploding Stars and Catastrophic Collisions

Speaker: Kate Maguire (Trinity College Dublin)Host: Stephanie Ho

Supernovae (and stellar collisions) are the incredibly luminous (and not so luminous) deaths of stars that play a vital role in chemical enrichment, galaxy feedback mechanisms, and our understanding of stellar evolution. In particular, Type Ia supernovae, the explosions of white dwarfs in binary systems, are vital for constraining the [...]
The Universe from the Edge of the Dark Matter Halo
February 7, 2022 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)
The Universe from the Edge of the Dark Matter Halo

Speaker: Susmita Adhikari (University of Chicago)Host: Stephanie Ho

Understanding the formation and evolution of non-linear structure in the universe can shed light on some of the most fundamental questions in Cosmology.  The splashback radius has emerged as probe of physics in the interface of galaxy formation and Cosmology. It forms the edge of the orbiting region of a [...]
Spectroscopic Vision: Tracing the Formation and Evolution of Massive Galaxies Through Cosmic Time
February 21, 2022 11:30 am (CDT) MIST M102
Spectroscopic Vision: Tracing the Formation and Evolution of Massive Galaxies Through Cosmic Time

Speaker: Rachel Bezanson (University of Pittsburgh)Host: Jonelle Walsh

Massive galaxies, though relatively rare in number, host most of the stars in the Universe and deep in their cores harbor the most extreme supermassive black holes. Today massive galaxies are red and dead ellipticals with little ongoing star formation or organized rotation; naturally they were expected to be relics [...]
Do Some SMBH in Nearby Galaxies Come in Pairs? - An Observer's Tale
February 28, 2022 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)
Do Some SMBH in Nearby Galaxies Come in Pairs? – An Observer’s Tale

Speaker: Sabine Thater (University of Vienna)Host: Jonelle Walsh

The formation of supermassive black holes (MBH) is thought to be tightly linked to the formation and growth of their host galaxies. While it is difficult to infer information about MBHs, galaxy evolution often leaves an imprint on the host galaxy properties. One of those properties is that the most [...]
Double Neutron Star Origins: Towards Multiscale Multiphysics Modeling for a Multimessenger Puzzle
March 7, 2022 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT) Hawking Auditorium
Double Neutron Star Origins: Towards Multiscale Multiphysics Modeling for a Multimessenger Puzzle

Speaker: Miguel Holgado (Carnegie Mellon University )Host: Jonelle Walsh

Gravitational-wave observations of merging black holes and merging neutron stars have significantly impacted our understanding of the formation and evolution of compact-object binaries. One of the most pressing uncertainties in how double neutron stars form is the common-envelope phase, whereby a neutron star inspirals within the envelope of a massive [...]
Extracting all Information from Future Surveys
March 9, 2022 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT) MIST M102
Extracting all Information from Future Surveys

Speaker: Sultan Hassan (Flatiron Institute)Host: Lucas Macri

Extracting the maximum amount of astrophysical and cosmological information remains a challenge in the current and future reionization surveys. These include, for instance, the recently launched NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Euclid, the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx), the [...]
The Origins of Black Holes and Their Effect on Their Host Galaxies
March 21, 2022 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)
The Origins of Black Holes and Their Effect on Their Host Galaxies

Speaker: Mallory Molina (Montana State University)Host: Lucas Macri

Active supermassive black holes have a significant and lasting impact on the evolution of their host galaxy, but their origins remain a mystery. Meanwhile massive black holes in dwarf galaxies can help constrain the properties of the initial black hole seeds but their impact on their host galaxies is not [...]
Understanding Planetary Evolution with TESS
April 4, 2022 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT) MIST M102
Understanding Planetary Evolution with TESS

Speaker: Joey Rodriguez (Michigan State University)Host: Stephanie Ho

The success of transit and RV surveys have shifted the exoplanet field from pure discovery to a combination of discovery, demographic analysis, and detailed characterization, especially for exoplanet atmospheres. However, even with nearly 5000 exoplanets known, we are still working to understand their origins and evolutionary mechanisms. Using data from NASA’s TESS [...]
The Physical Origin of the Death of Massive Galaxies in the Local Universe
April 11, 2022 11:30 am (CDT) MIST M102
The Physical Origin of the Death of Massive Galaxies in the Local Universe

Speaker: Chengpeng Zhang (Texas A&M University)Host: Stephanie Ho

Local galaxies can be broadly divided into star-forming and quiescent galaxies. The physical mechanism responsible for star formation quenching is one of the most debated open questions for understanding galaxy evolution. As the fuel of star formation, the cold gas content in galaxies will provide direct observational evidence of how [...]
A Dynamics-Based Density Profile for Dark Matter Halos
April 25, 2022 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT) MIST M102
A Dynamics-Based Density Profile for Dark Matter Halos

Speaker: Benedikt Diemer (University of Maryland)Host: Jonelle Walsh

We now know that the density profiles of dark matter haloes carry signatures of their dynamical state and even of the nature of dark matter. Some of the most interesting signals reside at large radii (around the virial radius and beyond), which have recently become observationally accessible via satellite distributions [...]
Directly Tracing the CGM Gas Flows Around Quasars Hosts in Non-Resonant Emission at z<1
May 2, 2022 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT) MIST M102
Directly Tracing the CGM Gas Flows Around Quasars Hosts in Non-Resonant Emission at z<1

Speaker: Sean Johnson (University of Michigan)Host: Stephanie Ho

The circum-galactic medium (CGM) is at the nexus of the gas inflows and outflows that regulate galaxy evolution. Consequently, the CGM provides an ideal laboratory for studying galaxy fueling, feedback, and interactions. Historically, studies of the CGM primarily relied on background absorption spectroscopy which provides a uniquely sensitive probe of [...]

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