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Research
Colloquium Series

All talks are held on Wednesdays in the STScI John N. Bahcall Auditorium at 3:30 p.m. preceded by tea at 3:15 p.m.

Please direct questions or comments to the colloquium committee. The 2017-18 committee members are Margaret Meixner (Co-chair), Alaina Henry, Brett Salmon, Anand Sivaramakrishnan, Ethan Vishniac (JHU Co-chair), Kevin Schlaufman (JHU), and David Nataf (JHU).

STScI presents live and archived webcasting of talks and Colloquium Series.

Date Speaker/Title
Sept. 06 Geronimo Luis Villanueva (Goddard Space Flight Center)
Title: TBS
Abstract: TBS
Host: TBS
Sept. 13 Mark Devlin (University of Pennsylvania)
Title: The Cosmic Microwave Background:  Current Status and Future Prospects
Abstract: TBS
Host: TBS
Sept. 20 Raffaella Margutti (Northwestern University)
Title: Astronomical Transients That Defy All Classification Schemes
Abstract: Observations are drawing a complex picture of the latest stages of massive stars evolution and their explosions. In this seminar I concentrate on two among the least understood aspects of stellar evolution, adopting an observational perspective: How do massive stars loose a significant fraction of their mass in the years preceding the explosion? What powers the most luminous stellar explosions in our Universe? I address these questions by taking advantage from panchromatic observations of two remarkable transients: (i) the “normal” envelope-stripped SN2014C, which experienced a dramatic metamorphosis and evolved from Type I into Type II supernova over a timescale of a few months, thus violating the supernova classification scheme that hat has existed for decades. (ii) I will then describe the recent results from our efforts to constrain the energy source of Super-Luminous SNe, with a case study of the “bactrian” transient ASASSN-15lh, which might be the first element of an entirely new class of transients.
Host: TBS
Sept. 27 or 28 Bruce Draine (Princeton University)
Title: TBS
Abstract: TBS
Host: TBS
Oct. 04 Megan Donahue (Michigan State University)
Title: How AGNs Regulate the Circumgalactic Gas: Feedback and Precipitation
Abstract: TBS
Host: TBS
Oct. 11 or 12 Caitlin Casey (University of Texas)
Title: TBS
Abstract: TBS
Host: TBS
Oct. 18 Ortwin Gerhard (Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik)
Title: Dynamical and Chemo-Dynamical Models for the Barred Inner Galaxy
Abstract: The Milky Way has a cylindrically rotating, strongly peanut-shaped bulge which is the inner, three-dimensional part of a longer, flatter bar, as also seen in external galaxies and N-body simulations.  Dynamical models based on NIR star counts and kinematic measurements from several surveys determine best values for the bar pattern speed and for the stellar masses of the bulge, bar, and inner disk, many within 10% accuracy. The bar region contains the major fraction of the Galaxy's stellar mass, emphasizing the importance of the Milky Way bar for Galactic evolution. The models find a dark matter density profile which flattens to a shallow cusp or core in the bulge region, and have been used to infer the IMF from the time-scale distribution of bulge microlensing events.  Separate dynamical models for different metallicity components in the Galactic bulge/bar show the different spatial and orbital distributions of the stellar populations. This gives a vivid illustration of the complexity that is likely to result from the hierarchical formation history of galaxies in general.
Host: TBS
Oct. 25 or 26 Ian Roederer (University of Michigan)
Title: Heavy Metals from the First Stars to Today
Abstract: TBS
Host: TBS
Nov. 01 or 02 Blakesley Burkhart (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Title: TBS
Abstract: TBS
Host: TBS
Nov. 08 Mariska Kriek (University of California - Berkeley)
Title: TBS
Abstract: TBS
Host: TBS
Nov. 16 Wendy Freedman (University of Chicago)
Title: TBS
Abstract: TBS
Host: TBS
Nov. 22 TBD (TBD)
Title: TBS
Abstract: TBS
Host: TBS
Nov. 29 Victoria Kaspi (McGill University)
Title: Fast Radio Bursts
Abstract: TBS
Host: TBS
Dec 06 Mark Vogelsberger (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Title: Simulating Galaxy Formation: IllustrisTNG and Beyond
Abstract: In my talk I will describe recent efforts to model the large-scale distribution of galaxies with cosmological hydrodynamics simulations. I will focus on the Illustris simulation, and our new simulation campaign, the IllustrisTNG project. After demonstrating the success of these simulations in terms of reproducing an enormous amount of observational data, I will also talk about directions for further improvements over the next couple of years.
Host: TBS
Dec 13 Gilles Fontaine (University of Montreal)
Title: TBS
Abstract: TBS
Host: TBS