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Seminars for Scientists

2015 Fall Schedule

This page is for the LASP Science Seminars Fall 2015 Series. See upcoming talks listed below. We still have open slots and are actively recruiting new speakers. If you or a colleague would like to give a seminar this fall, please contact the Seminar Organizer Mikki Osterloo (firstname.lastname at LASP seminars are held every Thursday at 4:00 PM in the SPSC building, generally in room W120. Refreshments are served at 3:45. All LASP science seminars are open to visitors and our colleagues in other departments.

Current Schedule:

Current Schedule (expanded):

8/27/2015 – Satellite observations of stratospheric gravity waves from AIRS and IASI: Mountain waves and storm sources

Speaker:   Lars Hoffmann (Juelich Research Center)
Date & Time:   8/27 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120

Gravity waves are an important driver for the atmospheric circulation and have substantial impact on weather and climate. Satellite instruments offer excellent opportunities to study gravity waves on a global scale. This talk presents two recent papers on stratospheric gravity wave observations of the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite and the Infrared […]

9/17/2015- Particle Precipitation into the Polar Atmosphere

Speaker:   Craig Rodger (Univ. of Otago)
Date & Time:   9/17 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120

The space around the Earth is filled with fast moving particles trapped in two “belts” by our magnetic field. The belts were named the “Van Allen radiation belts” in 1958 honour of their discoverer, James Van Allen. Earth-orbiting satellites can be damaged or even lost due to increased high-energy electron fluxes in the Earth’s radiation […]

9/22/2015- Understanding Magnetic Reconnection: The Physical Mechanism Driving Space Weather

Speaker:   Carrie Black (NASA Goddard)
Date & Time:   9/22 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120

To a large extent, all space weather is due to a long chain of reconnection events. Reconnection in the Sun’s corona is believed to be the primary mechanism by which free magnetic energy is released explosively in the form of a Solar Eruptive Event (a coronal mass ejection with accompanying eruptive flare). This energy then […]

9/24/2015- The Potassium-Argon Laser Experiment (KArLE): In Situ Geochronology for Planetary Robotic Missions

Speaker:   Barbara Cohen (NASA MSFC)
Date & Time:   9/24 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120

Isotopic dating is an essential tool to establish an absolute chronology for geological events, including crystallization history, magmatic evolution, and alteration events. The capability for in situ geochronology will open up the ability for geochronology to be accomplished as part of lander or rover complement, on multiple samples rather than just those returned. An in […]

10/1/2015- Emirates Mars Mission

Speaker:   David Brain (LASP)
Date & Time:   10/1 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120

In August 2014 LASP officially kicked off its involvement in a new kind of spacecraft mission development effort. Working with engineers and scientists from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), LASP is the lead academic partner helping to send a spacecraft to Mars in 2020, for the 50th anniversary of the UAE. The programmatic and scientific […]

10/8/2015 – Heavy ion energization and outflow from Earth

Speaker:   Andrew Yau (Univ. of Calgary)
Date & Time:   10/8 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120

The discovery of precipitating energetic oxygen ions from the magnetosphere in the 1970’s [Shelley et al., 1972] prompted a fundamental paradigm shift in our perception of the compositional origin of the Earth’s magnetosphere. The discovery also heralded an extensive body of studies of heavy ion energization and outflows based on satellite, rocket and radar observations […]

10/14/2015- Atmospheric optics & radiative transfer : Genesis and Evolution

Speaker:   Ping Yang (Texas A&M)
Date & Time:   10/14 ,  3:15 PM Location: SPSC W120

We will first trace the history of atmospheric optics from cradle to adolescence with emphasis on the contributions by Clebsch, Lorenz, Mie, Debye, and van de Hulst to the early development of the theory of light scattering by a sphere, and some newly developed light-scattering computational capabilities (e.g., the invariant embedding T-matrix method) for solving […]

10/15/2015- Starshades and the Search for Life in the Universe

Speaker:   Webster Cash (CU)
Date & Time:   10/15 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120

The discovery of life outside the Solar System is the premier piece of exploration that can actually be addressed in the near future. The astronomy community, in just the past few years, has established that planetary environments suitable for life are common in the Universe, so we now know how and where to look for […]

10/22/2015 – The Role of Flux Tube Entropy in Earth’s Plasma Sheet

Speaker:   Richard Wolf (Rice Univ.)
Date & Time:   10/22 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120

The plasma sheet is a crucial region of Earth’s magnetosphere, providing a source of the aurora, the substorm, and the storm-time ring current, as well as a seed population for the outer radiation belts. I will argue that flux-tube entropy, interchange instability, and reconnection all play crucial roles in plasma-sheet structure and dynamics. In the […]

10/29/2015 – MinXSS CubeSat – Science, Students, and System Development

Speaker:   James Mason (LASP)
Date & Time:   10/29 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB A200

The Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) CubeSat is a loaf-of-bread sized spacecraft that, early next year, will begin taking measurements of the highly-variable solar soft X-ray (SXR) spectrum. The energy distribution of SXRs is an important input into Earth’s ionosphere and is where the greatest emission enhancement from solar flares is expected. The MinXSS project […]

11/5/2015 – Unusual impact-related processes revealed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Speaker:   Josh Bandfield (SSI)
Date & Time:   11/5 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTR 299

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera and Diviner Radiometer have collected a systematic set of high-quality images and thermal infrared measurements of the Moon. These data have been used to characterize regolith and rock distributions that have revealed an unusual series of properties associated with lunar impact craters. Two separate studies will be described: 1) granular […]

11/12/2015 – Glasses and Poorly Crystalline Materials on Mars

Speaker:   Bill Farrand (SSI)
Date & Time:   11/12 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120

Recent results from the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity and its CheMin X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) instrument have consistently shown an X-ray amorphous component in Gale crater soils and clastic rocks ranging from 27 to 49% of the measured samples. Earlier linear deconvolution analysis of thermal infrared emissivity spectra of a number of rock classes observed […]

11/16/2015 – Europa’s atmospheric escape: importance of symmetrical O2 charge exchanges.

Speaker:   Vincent Dols
Date & Time:   11/16 ,  12 PM Location: SPSC W120

Europa, the smallest of the Galilean moons of Jupiter was thought to be a passive rocky moon as late as the mid fifties. Voyager flybys in the late 70’s revealed a flat fractured surface almost free of craters, which hints at a dynamic thermal history. Galileo flybys in the 90’s provided strong evidences of a […]

11/19/2015 – Discovery of alunite in Cross Crater using MRO CRISM: Evidence for Steam-Heated Hydrothermal Deposits on Mars

Speaker:   Gregg Swayze (USGS)
Date & Time:   11/19 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120

Cross Crater is a 65-km impact crater, formed about 3.8 Ga in the Noachian highlands of the Terra Sirenum region of Mars, and it hosts abundant Al-phyllosilicate and sulfate deposits. High spatial resolution data from MRO’s CRISM, HiRISE, and CTX instruments and from Mar Express’ OMEGA and HRSC instruments were used to examine the distribution […]

12/3/2015 – Long-term Measurements of Solar Spectral Irradiance: Lessons learned and the Path Forward

Speaker:   Erik Richard (LASP)
Date & Time:   12/3 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120

Accurate, long-term solar spectral irradiance (SSI) measurements are vital for interpreting how solar variability affects the balance of the Earth’s total energy budget and for validating climate model sensitivities to spectrally varying solar forcing. Ultimately, understanding these effects requires continuous measurements of SSI that meet the stringent requirements of climate-quality accuracy and stability over time. […]

12/9/2015- When it Rains on Titan, it Pours; and then it Evaporates.

Speaker:   Scot Rafkin (SwRI)
Date & Time:   12/9 ,  3:00 PM Location: SPSC W120

Titan has an active methane cycle that is analogous in many ways to the water cycle on Earth. For these cycles to be stable, the net precipitation to the surface must balance the net evaporation from the surface. This talk focuses on one of Titan’s major precipitation mechanisms and one of Titan’s important evaporation processes. […]

12/11/2015- Towards a deeper understanding of solar spectra through forward modelling

Speaker:   Tiago M. D. Pereira (Univ. of Oslo)
Date & Time:   12/11 ,  11:00 AM Location: SPSC N100

Most of our knowledge of the Sun is derived from light emitted in its thin, outer atmospheric layers, from where most photons can reach us unimpeded. Yet extracting physical information from images and spectra is a task far from simple. One needs a model of the solar atmosphere to calculate synthetic spectra that can be […]

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