Winter 2015 Colloquium Schedule

The Astronomy Department colloquia generally meet Thursdays at 4:00 pm in PAA A102 (the classroom part of the Physics/Astronomy Building complex) during the fall, winter, and spring when UW classes are in session. Talks given on days other than Thursday, or in locations other than PAA A102, are noted in red.

Additional talks will be added throughout the quarter. Please check back often.

Note: You may request quarterly email notification by sending a brief email message to office@astro.washington.edu.

Thu, Jan 15
4:00 A102
Przemek Wozniak(Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Mining the Sky in Time Domain with Telescope Networks
Thu, Jan 22
4:00 A102
Stephen Bailey(Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) Survey
Thu, Jan 29
4:00 A102
Emily Levesque(University of Colorado)
Engines, Lighthouses, and Laboratories: Massive Stars Across the Cosmos
Thu, Feb 05
4:00 A102
Bruce Balick(University of Washington)
TBA
Thu, Feb 12
4:00 A102
John Tobin(Leiden Observatory)
TBA
Thu, Feb 19
4:00 A102
Colette Salyk(NOAO)
TBA
Thu, Feb 26
4:00 A102
Ian Crossfield(LPL/University of Arizona)
TBA
Thu, Mar 05
4:00 A102
Matteo Cantiello(KITP/UC Santa Barbara)
TBA

For general disability accommodation requests, contact the Disability Services Office 10 days in advance of the event at: 206-543-6450 (voice), 206-543-6452 (TTY), 206-685-7264 (fax), or via email at dso@uw.edu.

Colloquium schedules at
ABSTRACTS
Thu, Jan 15
4:00 A102
Przemek Wozniak
Los Alamos National Laboratory
" Mining the Sky in Time Domain with Telescope Networks"

Temporal changes in celestial sources populate a large parameter space ranging from continuous low-amplitude variability in stars to violent explosions such as gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) with enormous energies emitted in a matter of seconds. In recent years we have seen an accelerated progress in time domain studies enabled by a synergy between diverse wide-field survey instruments, affordable computing, and advances in information technology. The RAPTOR/Thinking Telescopes project is developing a network of fully autonomous optical imaging detectors for continuous monitoring of the night sky in search of rapid transient phenomena on time-scales as short as 1 minute. I will discuss the RAPTOR concept, implementation, and GRB science results. The overarching idea is to fuse robotic instrumentation, machine learning, and data intensive information processing to construct a distributed system capable of automatically finding interesting transients and responding before the event is over. Deep wide-field surveys operating on longer time-scales such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) offer a great opportunity to explore other parts of the parameter space. At the same time, despite a substantial progress in automated variability detection and classification, optimizing the follow-up strategy given a limited pool of resources remains a challenge. The proposed dynamic coalition architecture may help to alleviate this problem.

Thu, Jan 22
4:00 A102
Stephen Bailey
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
"The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) Survey"

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) will perform a spectroscopic redshift survey of 24 million galaxies and quasars at the Kitt Peak National Observatory 4-m Mayall telescope from 2018–2023. These include 4M luminous red galaxies, 18M emission line galaxies, and 2.4M quasars with 0.7M Lyman-alpha forest lines-of-sight. These enable DESI to map the expansion history of the universe to redshift 3 with unprecedented accuracy using the baryon acoustic oscillation method. During bright time, DESI will observe an additional 10M nearby galaxies and 10M stars. I will describe the science reach of DESI, the new spectrographs fed by 5000 robotically positioned fiber optics, and the data systems for target selection, survey planning, simulations, and processing the data. While building off the heritage of previous galaxy redshift surveys, DESI is upgrading all aspects of the pipelines and algorithms to maximize the science reach of the new instrument and survey.

Thu, Jan 29
4:00 A102
Emily Levesque
University of Colorado
"Engines, Lighthouses, and Laboratories: Massive Stars Across the Cosmos"

Massive stars are crucial building blocks in the study of star-forming galaxies, stellar evolution, and transient events, and their applications as astrophysical tools span a broad range of subfields. The radiative signatures of young 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 gamma-ray bursts that can serve as powerful probes of the high-redshift universe. Finally, resolved massive star populations offer a treasure trove of nearby targets, allowing us to closely examine their physical parameters, evolution, and contribution to chemical enrichment. I will present my current research programs focused on developing a comprehensive picture of massive stars across the cosmos: observational surveys and models of star-forming galaxies, progenitor and host environment studies of transient phenomena, and extragalactic stellar observations, including the recent discovery of the first Thorne-Zytkow object candidate. Combined, this work will make substantial progress in our understanding of massive stars over the coming decade. This in turn will equip us with the tools we need to take full advantage of the frontiers opened up by new observational facilities such as LSST, the ELTs, JWST, allowing us to immediately begin probing the new corners of the universe that they reveal.

Thu, Feb 05
4:00 A102
Bruce Balick
University of Washington
"TBA"

TBA

Thu, Feb 12
4:00 A102
John Tobin
Leiden Observatory
"TBA"

TBA

Thu, Feb 19
4:00 A102
Colette Salyk
NOAO
"TBA"

TBA

Thu, Feb 26
4:00 A102
Ian Crossfield
LPL/University of Arizona
"TBA"

TBA

Thu, Mar 05
4:00 A102
Matteo Cantiello
KITP/UC Santa Barbara
"TBA"

TBA