Seminars for Scientists

2009 Schedule:

6/4/2009 – Gregor Morfill, Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik Germany

Speaker:   Dr Grant Matthews, ITT Space Systems Division
Date & Time:   June 6, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB

Abstract:
 

It is essential to maintain global measurements of the Earth’s Radiation Budget (ERB) from space, which are the scattered solar and emitted thermal radiative fluxes leaving the planet. These are required for purposes of validating current climate model predictions of our planet’s future response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing. The measurement accuracy and calibration stability… Read more »

5/24/2009 – Self-organising plasmas – new fundamental physics and applications

Speaker:   Gregor Morfill, Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik Germany
Date & Time:   May 14, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: None

Abstract:
 

”Self-organising plasmas” – or “complex plasmas” consist of electrons, ions and charged microparticles. The charged microparticles can be visualised individually, allowing full kinetic access to the plasma distribution function for the first time. Complex plasmas can self-organise spontaneously to assume liquid and even crystalline states – these are new states of “soft matter”, which were… Read more »

4/23/2009 – The Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere Mission: Science Results after four PMC seasons

Speaker:   Scott Bailey, Jim Russell
Date & Time:   April 23, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB

Abstract:
 

The Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:26:03 PDT on April 25, 2007 becoming the first satellite mission dedicated to the study of noctilucent clouds. A Pegasus XL rocket launched the satellite into a near perfect 600 km, noon – midnight, sun synchronous… Read more »

4/9/2009 – Is Jupiter’s magnetosphere fundamentally different than Earth’s?

Speaker:   Peter Delamere, LASP
Date & Time:   April 9, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

Following the New Horizons’ encounter with Jupiter, there has been a flurry of debate in the literature regarding the fundamental nature of Jupiter’s magnetosphere. The observation of large plasmoids filling Jupiter’s magnetotail prompted the suggestion by McComas and Bagenal [2007] that Jupiter has “a fundamentally different interaction with the solar wind”. At Earth, there is… Read more »

4/2/2009 – The Shortwave Component of the CLARREO Mission

Speaker:   Peter Pilewskie/Gregg Kopp
Date & Time:   April 2, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

Monitoring perturbations in the long-term balance between Earth’s absorption of radiative energy from the Sun and its emission of infrared radiation to space is one of the primary objectives behind the Decadal Survey Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) mission. Through on-orbit traceability of measurements to SI standards, CLARREO will initiate benchmark climate data… Read more »

3/26/2009 – In situ observations in Arctic, mid-latitude and tropical cirrus clouds

Speaker:   Martina Kraemer
Date & Time:   March 26, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

In situ measurements of total and gas phase water as well as ice crystals have been obtained during several airborne field experiments in the Arctic, at midlatitudes and in the tropics. From the data set obtained in these experiments, the ice water content (IWC) in cirrus clouds is derived as a function of temperature for… Read more »

3/19/2009 – The life-cycles of small asteroids

Speaker:   Daniel Scheeres
Date & Time:   March 19, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB

Abstract:
 

The recent verification that small asteroids are rubble piles and are subject the YORP effect (i.e, that solar radiation pressure makes asteroid spin rates change over relatively short time spans) has wide-ranging consequences for the life cycles of these bodies. As the spin rate of an asteroid changes, its minimum energy configuration can change and… Read more »

3/16/2009 – Calculation Challenges from Cassini CAPS: Thermal Ion Flow Velocities in Saturn’s Magnetosphere Moments

Speaker:   Rob Wilson
Date & Time:   March 16, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: Duane D142

Abstract:
 

The motion of thermal ions is surprisingly unresolved at Saturn. Due to Saturn’s strong magnetic field it is expected that plasma close to planet will co-rotate with the magnetic field, but where does this break down? The two Voyager fly-bys suggest this happens around 6 Saturn radii from the planet, although the passes were non-… Read more »

3/12/2009 – Discovery of a New Upper Atmosphere Breathing Mode

Speaker:   Jeff Thayer
Date & Time:   March 12, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB

Abstract:
 

Recent satellite measurements have enabled discovery of a recurrent ‘breathing’, or expansion and contraction, of the Earth’s upper atmosphere at periods of several days. Evidence of this ‘breathing’ is found in upper atmospheric density, composition, and in gases responsible for cooling the upper atmosphere. The discovery of multi-day periodicities in the upper atmosphere is shown… Read more »

2/26/2009 – Taking AIM at the space environment–When bad space weather is good

Speaker:   Dan Baker, LASP
Date & Time:   February 26, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

The AIM (Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere) spacecraft was launched on 25 April 2007. AIM is currently producing all planned observations. Some days after launch, however, AIM began to exhibit a problem in which it would not always achieve proper receiver uplink communications lock. During several periods from May 2007 to present there have… Read more »

2/19/2009 – Some applications of the GRACE satellite mission, including monitoring changes in the polar ice sheets.

Speaker:   John Wahr, Department of Physics and CIRES, University of Colorado
Date & Time:   February 19, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

NASA and the German Space Agency launched the GRACE satellite gravity mission in 2002. The mission is projected to last through 2013. GRACE provides highly accurate solutions for the Earth’s global gravity field every month. Differences between fields for different months provide information about time-variability in the gravity field, and so about month-to-month fluctuations in… Read more »

2/12/2009 – The role of H3+ in planetary atmospheres

Speaker:   Steve Miller, University College, London
Date & Time:   February 12, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: Duane D-142

Abstract:
 

The simple molecular ion H3+ has been known in the laboratory since 1911, when it was discovered by JJ Thomson while carrying out experiments on “rays of positive electricity”. It is stable, but highly reactive, making it an initiator chemical changes in mixed gases such as planetary atmospheres and the interstellar medium. The enormous anharmonicity… Read more »

2/2/2009 – MESSENGER Observations of Magnetic Reconnection in Mercury’s Magnetosphere

Speaker:   Dr. James A. Slavin, Heliophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Date & Time:   February 2, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB A200

Abstract:
 

During MESSENGER’s second flyby of Mercury on October 6, 2008, very intense reconnection was observed between the planet’s magnetic field and a steady southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). The dawn magnetopause was threaded by a strong magnetic field normal to its surface, ~ 14 nT, that implies a rate of reconnection ~10 times the typical… Read more »

1/8/2009 – Spectral resolution and spatial structure: Why are they necessary for accurate climate-relevant observations?

Speaker:   K. Sebastian Schmidt, Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz Germany, LASP
Date & Time:   January 8, 2009 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB

Abstract:
 

Both spectral and spatial resolution of space- and airborne radiometers have increased tremendously over the last two decades. At the same time, climate, cloud, and radiative transfer models became considerably more accurate due to growing computing capabilities. The question arises: How much resolution and accuracy is needed for which application? In this context, “prioritization” of… Read more »

5/14/2009 – Self-organising plasmas – new fundamental physics and applications

Speaker:   Gregor Morfill (Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik Germany)
Date & Time:   5/14 ,  4:00 PM Location: LASP

Abstract:
 

“Self-organising plasmas” – or “complex plasmas” consist of electrons, ions and charged microparticles. The charged microparticles can be visualised individually, allowing full kinetic access to the plasma distribution function for the first time. Complex plasmas can self-organise spontaneously to assume liquid and even crystalline states – these are new states of “soft matter”, which were… Read more »

4/23/2009 – The Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere Mission: Science Results after four PMC seasons

Speaker:   Scott Bailey
Date & Time:   April 23, 2009 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB

Abstract:
 

Abstract: The Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:26:03 PDT on April 25, 2007 becoming the first satellite mission dedicated to the study of noctilucent clouds. A Pegasus XL rocket launched the satellite into a near perfect 600 km, noon – midnight, sun… Read more »

4/9/2009 – Is Jupiter’s magnetosphere fundamentally different than Earth’s?

Speaker:   Peter Delamere (LASP)
Date & Time:   April 9, 2009 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB-299

Abstract:
 

Following the New Horizons’ encounter with Jupiter, there has been a flurry of debate in the literature regarding the fundamental nature of Jupiter’s magnetosphere. The observation of large plasmoids filling Jupiter’s magnetotail prompted the suggestion by McComas and Bagenal [2007] that Jupiter has “a fundamentally different interaction with the solar wind”. At Earth, there is… Read more »

4/2/2009 – The Shortwave Component of the CLARREO Mission

Speaker:   Peter Pilewskie, Gregg Kopp
Date & Time:   April 2, 2009 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB

Abstract:
 

Monitoring perturbations in the long-term balance between Earth’s absorption of radiative energy from the Sun and its emission of infrared radiation to space is one of the primary objectives behind the Decadal Survey Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) mission. Through on-orbit traceability of measurements to SI standards, CLARREO will initiate benchmark climate data… Read more »

2/26/2009 – In situ observations in Arctic, mid-latitude and tropical cirrus clouds

Speaker:   Martina Kreamer
Date & Time:   March 26, 2009 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB-299

Abstract:
 

In situ measurements of total and gas phase water as well as ice crystals have been obtained during several airborne field experiments in the Arctic, at midlatitudes and in the tropics. From the data set obtained in these experiments, the ice water content (IWC) in cirrus clouds is derived as a function of temperature for… Read more »

3/19/2009 – “The life-cycles of small asteroids”

Speaker:   Daniel Scheeres
Date & Time:   March 19, 2009 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB

Abstract:
 

The recent verification that small asteroids are rubble piles and are subject the YORP effect (i.e, that solar radiation pressure makes asteroid spin rates change over relatively short time spans) has wide-ranging consequences for the life cycles of these bodies. As the spin rate of an asteroid changes, its minimum energy configuration can change and… Read more »

3/16/2009 – “Calculation Challenges from Cassini CAPS: Thermal Ion Flow Velocities in Saturn’s Magnetosphere Moments”

Speaker:   Rob Wilson
Date & Time:   March 16, 2009 ,  2:00 PM Location: Duane, D-142

Abstract:
 

The motion of thermal ions is surprisingly unresolved at Saturn. Due to Saturn’s strong magnetic field it is expected that plasma close to planet will co-rotate with the magnetic field, but where does this break down? The two Voyager fly-bys suggest this happens around 6 Saturn radii from the planet, although the passes were non-… Read more »

3/12/2009 – “Discovery of a New Upper Atmosphere Breathing Mode “

Speaker:   Jeff Thayer
Date & Time:   March 12, 2009 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB

Abstract:
 

Recent satellite measurements have enabled discovery of a recurrent ‘breathing’, or expansion and contraction, of the Earth’s upper atmosphere at periods of several days. Evidence of this ‘breathing’ is found in upper atmospheric density, composition, and in gases responsible for cooling the upper atmosphere. The discovery of multi-day periodicities in the upper atmosphere is shown… Read more »

2/26/2009 – “Taking AIM at the space environment–When bad space weather is good”

Speaker:   Dan Baker (LASP)
Date & Time:   February 26, 2009 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB-299

Abstract:
 

The AIM (Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere) spacecraft was launched on 25 April 2007. AIM is currently producing all planned observations. Some days after launch, however, AIM began to exhibit a problem in which it would not always achieve proper receiver uplink communications lock. During several periods from May 2007 to present there have… Read more »

2/12/2009 – The role of H3+ in planetary atmospheres

Speaker:   Steve Miller (University College, London)
Date & Time:   February 12, 2009 ,  4:00 PM Location: Duane, D-142

Abstract:
 

The simple molecular ion H3+ has been known in the laboratory since 1911, when it was discovered by JJ Thomson while carrying out experiments on “rays of positive electricity”. It is stable, but highly reactive, making it an initiator chemical changes in mixed gases such as planetary atmospheres and the interstellar medium. The enormous anharmonicity… Read more »

2/2/2009 – MESSENGER Observations of Magnetic Reconnection in Mercury’s Magnetosphere

Speaker:   Dr. James A. Slavin (Heliophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland)
Date & Time:   February 2, 2009 ,  3:00 PM Location: LSTB-A200

Abstract:
 

During MESSENGER’s second flyby of Mercury on October 6, 2008, very intense reconnection was observed between the planet’s magnetic field and a steady southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). The dawn magnetopause was threaded by a strong magnetic field normal to its surface, ~ 14 nT, that implies a rate of reconnection ~10 times the typical… Read more »

1/8/2009 – Spectral resolution and spatial structure: Why are they necessary for accurate climate-relevant observations?

Speaker:   K. Sebastian Schmidt, Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz Germany, LASP
Date & Time:   January 8, 2009 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB

Abstract:
 

Both spectral and spatial resolution of space- and airborne radiometers have increased tremendously over the last two decades. At the same time, climate, cloud, and radiative transfer models became considerably more accurate due to growing computing capabilities. The question arises: How much resolution and accuracy is needed for which application? In this context, “prioritization” of… Read more »