Seminars for Scientists

Spring 2010 Schedule:

4/29/2010 – The Lunar Atmosphere: Some Ado About Almost Nothing

Speaker:   Richard Hodges (LASP)
Date & Time:   April 29, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: None (Seminar Cancelled)

Abstract:
 

Prior to the Apollo era the lunar atmosphere was thought to be a collision-less, ballistic conduit for thermal evaporation that balances the inflow of solar wind ions with their loss as neutrals. However, the first atmospheric species to be identified on the moon was radiogenic argon-40, and its identification was the indirect result of a… Read more »

4/22/2010 – Using helioseismology to improve space weather predictions

Speaker:   Alysha Reinard (NOAA/SWPC)
Date & Time:   April 22, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

Solar flares and CMEs cause dramatic effects at the Earth, including damage to satellite electronics, loss of airline communications, and degradation, or even complete loss, of GPS. These effects become more disruptive as we become increasingly reliant on highly sophisticated technology. However, it is very difficult to predict when and where these events will occur… Read more »

4/15/2010 – Laboratory studies of lunar dust transport.

Speaker:   Xu Wang (LASP)
Date & Time:   April 15, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: Duane, D-142

Abstract:
 

There has been much evidence indicating dust levitation and transport on or near the lunar surface. Dust mobilization is likely to be caused by electrostatic forces acting on small lunar dust particles that are charged by UV radiation and solar wind plasma. Laboratory studies are needed for understanding physics of dust charging and dynamics on… Read more »

4/8/2010 – The F ring: One of Saturn’s most puzzling rings

Speaker:   Nicole Albers (LASP)
Date & Time:   April 8, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: Duane

Abstract:
 

Since the discovery of the F ring by Pioneer 11 it has been known as one of the most dynamic planetary rings in the Solar system. Located just outside Saturn’s main rings with its orbit right between those of the two shepherding moons Prometheus and Pandora, it is divided into the dense F ring core… Read more »

4/1/2010 – Liquid Water on Saturn’s Ice Moon Enceladus

Speaker:   Dr. Sascha Kempf (Max-Planck-Instute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg, Germany)
Date & Time:   April 4, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

In the light of the Cassini mission to Saturn, the moon Enceladus turned out to be one of the most intriguing bodies in the solar system. Data returned by several instruments on the spacecraft provide compelling evidence that this moon is unusually active and is capable of maintaining a pronounced ice volcanism. In particular, measurements… Read more »

3/25/2010 – Sources or Losses? The cause and effect of ultra low-frequency magnetospheric pulsations in the Van Allen radiation belts.

Speaker:   Scot Elkington (LASP)
Date & Time:   March 25, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

Geomagnetic activity is capable of dramatically affecting the relativistic electrons that comprise the outer zone of the Van Allen radiation belts, with approximately half of geomagnetic storms producing enhancements in the intensity of radiation in the belts, and the remainder either reducing relativistic electron fluxes or having no overall effect. Which of these outcomes will… Read more »

3/18/2010 – Complex Plasmas – From the Laboratory to Experiments on the International Space Station

Speaker:   U. Konopka Max-Planck-Institut f”ur extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, 85740
Date & Time:   March 18, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: Duane D-142

Abstract:
 

Dusty plasmas, or often called ”complex plasmas” have been studied for decades mainly related to plasma processing or astrophysical environments. 1994 an unfamiliar, ordered state of micro particles in a low temperature plasma environment, the so called ”plasma crystal” was discovered. As a result, the investigation of dusty plasmas was strongly intensified. The behavior of… Read more »

3/11/2010 – Naval Space Science & Technology Initiatives

Speaker:   Robert McCoy
Date & Time:   March 11, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

This will be a two-part talk focusing on both the basic and applied research programs at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) – and a couple at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). The ONR basic research portfolio is aimed at improved understanding of the ionosphere and thermosphere (I/T) and developing new sensors and models for… Read more »

3/4/2010 – Planetary Upper Atmospheres under Strong XUV Radiation

Speaker:   Feng Tian
Date & Time:   March 4, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: Duane D142

Abstract:
 

Solar system terrestrial planets were exposed to strong (10~100 times present levels) soft X-ray and EUV radiation from the young Sun for several hundred million years after their formation. Planetary upper atmospheres expanded to several planetary radii under such XUV radiation and fast escape of major atmosphere gases occurred. The radial outflow, as a result… Read more »

2/25/2010 – Exploring Mercury’s Surface-bound Exosphere With the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer: Results from the Three MESSENGER Flybys

Speaker:   Bill McClintock (LASP)
Date & Time:   February 10, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

The planet Mercury is surrounded by a tenuous surface-bounded exosphere whose composition and structure are controlled by interactions among the surface, magnetosphere, solar wind, and sunlight. One of the scientific goals of the MErcury: Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, Ranging (MESSENGER) mission is to understand the nature of those interactions in order to identify the important… Read more »

2/18/2010 – Active and passive remote sensing of the Mesopause region: What do we learn from observing NoctiLucent Clouds (NLC)

Speaker:   Gerd Baumgarten, Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University of Rostock, Germany
Date & Time:   February 18, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: Duane D142

Abstract:
 

Active remote sensing by lidar allows to study processes in the middle atmosphere from small (<1km, 5min) to medium scales (6h) and deliver reliable observations to investigate year to year fluctuations of the atmosphere. Due to the rather complicated instrumental setup only a few lidars are capable of sounding the mesosphere. Especially the polar summer… Read more »

2/4/2010 – Enhanced Thermospheric Density: The Roles of East-West and Northward Interplanetary Magnetic Field

Speaker:   Delores Knipp (HAO)
Date & Time:   February 4, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

During 2005 solar EUV energy input to the thermosphere waned as Solar Cycle 23 declined. The reduction allowed a clearer delineation of episodic density disturbances caused by geomagnetic storms. We show new views of these disturbances based on Poynting flux calculations from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F-series satellites, as well as from 1)… Read more »

1/28/2010 – The Solar Oxygen Problem: Crisis, Catastrophe, or Opportunity?

Speaker:   Tom Ayres (CASA)
Date & Time:   January 28, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

Over the past decade, the recommended solar oxygen abundance has declined rather precipitously, from a high of 850 ppm in the late 1970’s to the current value of around 450 ppm. At the rate of decline since 2001, in fact, the Sun will run out of oxygen circa 2016. Some might call this as a… Read more »

1/21/2010 – Characteristics of the Martian Cryolithhosphere in Zones of Outflow Channel Occurrence

Speaker:   Alexis Palmero Rodriguez (Planetary Science Institute, Texas)
Date & Time:   January 21, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: Duane

Abstract:
 

Previous workers have suggested that chaotic terrain formation on Mars occurred in zones of elevated hydraulic head within a global hydrosphere.Our results indicate that chaotic terrain formation in the region of southern circum-Chryse may have resulted from the disruption of thick sedimentary deposits that contained large numbers of buried impact craters. The presented model suggests… Read more »

1/14/2010 – Solar Incoming and Outgoing Radiometry for Climate Studies

Speaker:   Greg Kopp (LASP)
Date & Time:   January 14, 2010 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

While greenhouse gases are critical in climate studies, the main driver of Earth’s climate – by nearly a factor of 10,000 – is the incident total solar irradiance, which LASP is and will be measuring with the Total Irradiance Monitor instruments on the SORCE, Glory, and NPOESS missions. Water vapor and other greenhouse gases, aerosols, land use,… Read more »

4/29/2010 – The Lunar Atmosphere: Some Ado About Almost Nothing

Speaker:   Richard Hodges (LASP)
Date & Time:   April 29, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: None

Abstract:
 

Prior to the Apollo era the lunar atmosphere was thought to be a collision-less, ballistic conduit for thermal evaporation that balances the inflow of solar wind ions with their loss as neutrals. However, the first atmospheric species to be identified on the moon was radiogenic argon-40, and its identification was the indirect result of a… Read more »

4/22/2010 – Using helioseismology to improve space weather predictions

Speaker:   Alysha Reinard (NOAA/SWPC)
Date & Time:   April 22, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB-299

Abstract:
 

Solar flares and CMEs cause dramatic effects at the Earth, including damage to satellite electronics, loss of airline communications, and degradation, or even complete loss, of GPS. These effects become more disruptive as we become increasingly reliant on highly sophisticated technology. However, it is very difficult to predict when and where these events will occur… Read more »

4/15/2010 – Laboratory studies of lunar dust transport.

Speaker:   Xu Wang (LASP)
Date & Time:   April 15, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: Duane, D-142

Abstract:
 

There has been much evidence indicating dust levitation and transport on or near the lunar surface. Dust mobilization is likely to be caused by electrostatic forces acting on small lunar dust particles that are charged by UV radiation and solar wind plasma. Laboratory studies are needed for understanding physics of dust charging and dynamics on… Read more »

4/8/2010 – The F ring: One of Saturn’s most puzzling rings

Speaker:   Nicole Albers (LASP)
Date & Time:   April 8, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: (Duane)

Abstract:
 

Since the discovery of the F ring by Pioneer 11 it has been known as one of the most dynamic planetary rings in the Solar system. Located just outside Saturn’s main rings with its orbit right between those of the two shepherding moons Prometheus and Pandora, it is divided into the dense F ring core… Read more »

4/1/2010 – Liquid Water on Saturn’s Ice Moon Enceladus

Speaker:   Dr. Sascha Kempf (Max-Planck-Instute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg, Germany)
Date & Time:   April 1, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB-299

Abstract:
 

In the light of the Cassini mission to Saturn, the moon Enceladus turned out to be one of the most intriguing bodies in the solar system. Data returned by several instruments on the spacecraft provide compelling evidence that this moon is unusually active and is capable of maintaining a pronounced ice volcanism. In particular, measurements… Read more »

3/25/2010 – Sources or Losses? The cause and effect of ultra low-frequency magnetospheric pulsations in the Van Allen radiation belts.

Speaker:   Scot Elkington (LASP)
Date & Time:   March 25, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

Geomagnetic activity is capable of dramatically affecting the relativistic electrons that comprise the outer zone of the Van Allen radiation belts, with approximately half of geomagnetic storms producing enhancements in the intensity of radiation in the belts, and the remainder either reducing relativistic electron fluxes or having no overall effect. Which of these outcomes will… Read more »

3/18/2010 – Complex Plasmas – From the Laboratory to Experiments on the International Space Station

Speaker:   U. Konopka Max-Planck-Institut f”ur extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, 85740 Garching, Germany
Date & Time:   March 18, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: Duane D-142

Abstract:
 

Dusty plasmas, or often called ”complex plasmas” have been studied for decades mainly related to plasma processing or astrophysical environments. 1994 an unfamiliar, ordered state of micro particles in a low temperature plasma environment, the so called ”plasma crystal” was discovered. As a result, the investigation of dusty plasmas was strongly intensified. The behavior of… Read more »

3/11/2010 – Naval Space Science & Technology Initiatives

Speaker:   Robert McCoy
Date & Time:   March 11, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB-299

Abstract:
 

This will be a two-part talk focusing on both the basic and applied research programs at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) – and a couple at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). The ONR basic research portfolio is aimed at improved understanding of the ionosphere and thermosphere (I/T) and developing new sensors and models for… Read more »

3/4/2010 – Planetary Upper Atmospheres under Strong XUV Radiation

Speaker:   Feng Tian
Date & Time:   March 4, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: Duane D-142

Abstract:
 

Solar system terrestrial planets were exposed to strong (10~100 times present levels) soft X-ray and EUV radiation from the young Sun for several hundred million years after their formation. Planetary upper atmospheres expanded to several planetary radii under such XUV radiation and fast escape of major atmosphere gases occurred. The radial outflow, as a result… Read more »

2/25/2010 – Exploring Mercury’s Surface-bound Exosphere With the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer: Results from the Three MESSENGER Flybys

Speaker:   Bill McClintock (LASP)
Date & Time:   February 15, 2010 ,  Location: LSTB-299

Abstract:
 

The planet Mercury is surrounded by a tenuous surface-bounded exosphere whose composition and structure are controlled by interactions among the surface, magnetosphere, solar wind, and sunlight. One of the scientific goals of the MErcury: Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, Ranging (MESSENGER) mission is to understand the nature of those interactions in order to identify the important… Read more »

2/18/2010 – Active and passive remote sensing of the Mesopause region: What do we learn from observing NoctiLucent Clouds (NLC)

Speaker:   Gerd Baumgarten, Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University of Rostock, Germany
Date & Time:   February 18, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: Duane D-142

Abstract:
 

Active remote sensing by lidar allows to study processes in the middle atmosphere from small (<1km, 5min) to medium scales (6h) and deliver reliable observations to investigate year to year fluctuations of the atmosphere. Due to the rather complicated instrumental setup only a few lidars are capable of sounding the mesosphere. Especially the polar summer… Read more »

2/4/2010 – Enhanced Thermospheric Density: The Roles of East-West and Northward Interplanetary Magnetic Field

Speaker:   Delores Knipp (HAO)
Date & Time:   February 4, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB 299

Abstract:
 

During 2005 solar EUV energy input to the thermosphere waned as Solar Cycle 23 declined. The reduction allowed a clearer delineation of episodic density disturbances caused by geomagnetic storms. We show new views of these disturbances based on Poynting flux calculations from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F-series satellites, as well as from 1)… Read more »

1/28/2010 – The Solar Oxygen Problem: Crisis, Catastrophe, or Opportunity?

Speaker:   Tom Ayres (CASA)
Date & Time:   January 28, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB-299

Abstract:
 

Over the past decade, the recommended solar oxygen abundance has declined rather precipitously, from a high of 850 ppm in the late 1970’s to the current value of around 450 ppm. At the rate of decline since 2001, in fact, the Sun will run out of oxygen circa 2016. Some might call this as a… Read more »

1/21/2010 – Characteristics of the Martian Cryolithhosphere in Zones of Outflow Channel Occurrence

Speaker:   Alexis Palmero Rodriguez (Planetary Science Institute, Texas)
Date & Time:   January 21, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: (Duane)

Abstract:
 

Previous workers have suggested that chaotic terrain formation on Mars occurred in zones of elevated hydraulic head within a global hydrosphere.Our results indicate that chaotic terrain formation in the region of southern circum-Chryse may have resulted from the disruption of thick sedimentary deposits that contained large numbers of buried impact craters. The presented model suggests… Read more »

1/14/2010 – Solar Incoming and Outgoing Radiometry for Climate Studies

Speaker:   Greg Kopp (LASP)
Date & Time:   January 14, 2010 ,  4:00 PM Location: LSTB-299

Abstract:
 

While greenhouse gases are critical in climate studies, the main driver of Earth’s climate – by nearly a factor of 10,000 – is the incident total solar irradiance, which LASP is and will be measuring with the Total Irradiance Monitor instruments on the SORCE, Glory, and NPOESS missions. Water vapor and other greenhouse gases, aerosols,… Read more »