Past Events in 2016

The Scales of Star Formation

Date: 
Wednesday, October 05, 2016 - 3:30pm PDT
Speaker: 
Daniela Calzetti
Affiliation: 
University of Massachusetts
Location: 
N232, room 103
Event Type: 
Colloquium

One of the missing pieces in the puzzle of star formation is the link across the full range of scales, from the sizes of stars and star clusters all the way to those of whole galaxies. Lack of understanding of the link between scales is a major barrier in the development of a predictive theory of star formation.

Probing Massive Star Formation at the Earliest Phases with SOFIA

Date: 
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 9:00am PDT
Speaker: 
Terry Jones
Affiliation: 
University of Minnesota
Location: 
N/A
Event Type: 
Teletalk

Massive star formation commonly occurs within tight clusters of OB stars and creates a local environment that is strongly influenced by the presence of these massive stars (e.g. the Trapezium in Orion). For massive star formation, the formation time could be less than the time for winds and radiation to disrupt the cloud. Our goal is to investigate the immediate environment of massive stars in their earliest phase of evolution.

The Diverse Impact of Chemical Environment on Interstellar Chemical Evolution

Date: 
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 3:30pm PDT
Speaker: 
Brett McGuire
Affiliation: 
NRAO
Location: 
N232, room 103
Event Type: 
Colloquium

Chemical and physical environments have an incredible impact on the study of the complex molecular evolution in the interstellar medium (ISM) that led to the amino acids and other biologically-relevant molecules we see in the meteorites today. I will discuss examples of how local environment and long-range (dis-)order have impacted the spectroscopy we have used to study condensed-phase molecules in the laboratory and observationally.

The Local Truth: Star-Formation and Feedback in the SOFIA Era -- Celebrating 50 Years of Airborne Astronomy

Date: 
Monday, October 17, 2016 (All day) to Thursday, October 20, 2016 (All day)
Speaker: 
TBD
Location: 
Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA
Event Type: 
Conference

A meeting to discuss the current framework of star formation and feedback processes in Galactic molecular clouds and nearby galaxies. High spatial and spectral resolution mid- and far-infrared observations of these local environments, as provided by SOFIA, are critical for a detailed understanding of the key physical processes involved. Such “local truth” is a prerequisite for a reliable interpretation of star formation tracers in distant galaxies.

Active Galactic Nuclei: Investigating the Dusty Torus Using SOFIA

Date: 
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 9:00am PDT
Speaker: 
Enrique Lopez-Rodriguez
Affiliation: 
SOFIA Science Center
Location: 
N/A
Event Type: 
Teletalk

The dusty torus is the cornerstone of the unified model of active galactic nuclei (AGN). The dusty environment surrounding the central engine (black hole and accretion disk) absorbs radiation and re-emits it at infrared (IR) wavelengths, peaking at 10-50 µm. IR observations in the 1-13 µm wavelength range from the ground have been key to advance our knowledge in this field, and our best understanding describes it as an optically and geometrically, clumpy and dusty toroidal distribution on scales of parsecs.

The Beginning of Gravitational Wave Astrophysics

Date: 
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 3:30pm PDT
Speaker: 
Stan Whitcomb
Affiliation: 
California Institute of Technology
Location: 
N232, room 103
Event Type: 
Colloquium

On September 14, 2015, the two sites of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detected a short burst of gravitational waves from the inspiral and merger of two black holes, the first time that gravitational waves had been directly detected since their prediction roughly a century ago. The LIGO detectors use advanced lasers and optics to compare  the lengths of two perpendicular 4-km long arms with sensitivity better than one one-thousandth the diameter of an atomic nucleus.

NASA's Mission to Pluto--Exploration and Discovery at the Edge of the Planetary System

Date: 
Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 3:30pm PDT
Speaker: 
Dale Cruikshank
Affiliation: 
NASA Ames
Location: 
N232, Room 227
Event Type: 
Colloquium

The first planetary mission to Pluto by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has revealed an astonishingly diverse system consisting of a binary planet and four tiny irregular satellites. Pluto and Charon have icy surfaces with at least five kinds of ice identified so far.  Pluto's thin atmosphere supports at least 20 layers of photochemical haze, and the planet's surface exhibits a vast range of geological structures both ancient and modern.

Altering the Seeds of Planet Formation

Date: 
Wednesday, November 09, 2016 - 9:00am PST
Speaker: 
Joel Green
Affiliation: 
STScI
Location: 
N/A
Event Type: 
Teletalk

Is the process of star and planet formation a slow and steady one, or are there bumps in the road to planet construction? In 1936, the young star FU Orionis (FU Ori) became 100 times brighter in only a few short months. FU Ori was undergoing a "burst" of accretion -- and nearly 20 Jupiter masses of gas have accreted in during the past 80 years. This sustained flow is a large fraction of the entire measurable disk mass (both gas and dust) surrounding FU Ori.

Reflections on SOFIA

Date: 
Wednesday, November 09, 2016 - 3:30pm PST
Speaker: 
Hans Zinnecker
Affiliation: 
Deutsches SOFIA Institut
Location: 
N232, room 103
Event Type: 
Colloquium

SOFIA - quo vadis? After 6.5 years with SOFIA, as deputy director and German representative in the SMO, it is time to say good-bye, but not without a few thoughts of reflection on the past and, in particular, on the future. I will start with what SOFIA was like in 2010, including the first science observations and discoveries with GREAT and FORCAST.

Physical Conditions in the ISM and Star Formation in Nearby Galaxies

Date: 
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 3:30pm PST
Speaker: 
Adam Leroy
Affiliation: 
Ohio State University
Location: 
N232, room 103
Event Type: 
Colloquium

I will present results from several new projects using ALMA, the IRAM mm-wave telescopes, and soon the Green Bank Telescope to map physical conditions in the molecular gas of nearby galaxies. Using multi-line spectroscopy we are able to constrain the gas density distribution in each part of the galaxy, while using high resolution CO imaging we can measure the structure (density, turbulence, and self-gravity) of the interstellar medium on the scale of individual star-forming clouds.

Submillimeter Instrumentation & ISM Studies of Galaxies in the Early Universe with Far-IR Fine-Structure Emission Lines

Date: 
Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 3:30pm PST
Speaker: 
Amit Vishwas
Affiliation: 
Cornell University
Location: 
N232, room 103
Event Type: 
Seminar

Understanding the interstellar medium (ISM) of galaxies is paramount for developing insights to the formation of galaxies in the Universe. Studies of the ISM in high redshift galaxies have progressed tremendously in the past years, but studies of the physical properties based on a suite of fine structure lines are still in their beginning stages. I will briefly describe our instrument, the 2nd generation High Redshift (z) and Early Universe Spectrometer (ZEUS-2) which along with ZEUS-1 has enabled pioneering studies of the fine structure lines of C, N, and O at high-z.

Infrared Studies of Jupiter’s Atmospheric Circulation in the Era of the Spaxel

Date: 
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 9:00am PST
Speaker: 
Leigh Fletcher
Affiliation: 
University of Leicester
Location: 
N/A
Event Type: 
Teletalk

Observations of Jupiter’s infrared spectrum provide access to the internal workings of the extreme atmosphere of this archetypal giant planet. Gaseous absorption and emission features are superimposed onto a continuum formed from hydrogen and helium collisions and aerosol opacity, allowing us to reconstruct the three-dimensional thermal, chemical, and cloud structure of the atmosphere, from the churning cloud tops into the stably-stratified middle atmosphere.

The Magnetic Fields of the Galactic Center

Date: 
Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 3:30pm PST
Speaker: 
Mark Morris
Affiliation: 
UCLA
Location: 
N232, room 103
Event Type: 
Colloquium

Several independent lines of evidence reveal that a relatively strong and highly ordered magnetic field interacts strongly with the gas and dust in the Galaxy’s central molecular zone (CMZ).  The field probably also has an important effect on both the dynamics and the thermal balance of the warm molecular clouds in the CMZ.  The predominantly poloidal intercloud field organizes the plasma and the gas of cosmic ray particles, leading to vertical features of both thermal and nonthermal character.  Recent observations with the VLA indicate that violent events at the center are locally deformin

HIRMES - A Versatile High Resolution Far-Infrared Spectrometer for SOFIA

Date: 
Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 9:00am PST
Speaker: 
Harvey Moseley
Affiliation: 
GSFC
Location: 
N/A
Event Type: 
Teletalk

HIRMES (High Resolution Mid-Infrared Spectrometer) brings a new spectroscopic capability to SOFIA, covering the 25 - 122 µm spectral range with resolving powers ranging from 600 to 100,000, with a sensitivity better than 1 x 10^-17 W/m^2 5 sigma in 1 hour. This capability will enable detailed studies of the composition, thermal structure, and kinematics of protoplanetary disks, and will enable a wide range of Galactic studies.  I will review the science program that motivated the system design, and describe the technical approaches that have been chosen.

Pages