Science Seminar Archive

Past Science Seminars

May 23, 2024
Nanodust and Enceladus and Saturn’s Rings, oh my! - Probing Saturn’s ring-moon system with nanodust.
Sean Hsu
After exploring the Saturn system for more than 13 years, September 15th, 2017 marked the end of the NASA-ESA joint Cassini-Huygens mission. Before diving into and becoming a part of Saturn, the spacecraft witnessed a once-in-decades...
May 16, 2024
A Tale of Planetary Adolescence and Evolution
Adina Feinstein
Within the past decade, we have discovered only a dozen young (< 300 Myr) short-period exoplanets, compared to ~5,600 mature exoplanets. The radii of these young planets are larger than older planets on similar orbital periods....
May 2, 2024
Improving Whole Atmospheric Reanalysis by Assimilating GOLD Observations in WACCMX
Fazlul Laskar
Remember the saying “All models are wrong, but some are useful”. Well, some of the useful models can be made realistic by ingesting experimental measurements through data assimilation. This presentation will show examples of how Global...
April 25, 2024
Understanding and Modeling the Mysterious Dropout of Radiation Belt Electrons
Weichao Tu
(West Virginia University)
The discovery of Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts in 1958 revealed the hazardous radiative environment for spacecraft operating within. Understanding, modeling, and eventually predicting the dynamics of energetic electrons in the radiation belts have long been...
April 11, 2024
The Habitable Worlds Observatory: Mission Overview and the Path to Discovery
Kevin France
The discovery of thousands of planets orbiting stars beyond the solar system has fundamentally shifted our view of Earth’s place in the Universe, has captivated the public imagination, and has transformed research priorities in astrophysics. Those...
April 4, 2024
Brines and Habitability on Mars
Alejandro Soto
The search for ancient or current life on Mars begins with the search for surface and subsurface environments that are habitable. Before we begin this search in situ with robotic and human missions, it’s important to...
March 21, 2024
Measuring the stratosphere: what balloons are really doing
Matthew Norgren
The Earth’s stratosphere, which sits above the troposphere, is a difficult place to make measurements. The highest-flying aircraft can only reach the lowermost portion of the stratosphere, while space-based sensors orbiting well above are limited by...
April 18, 2024
Ultraviolet Mars: The Search for More Science
Justin Deighan
Tremendous new insights into the Martian atmosphere have been achieved in recent years by two ultraviolet spectrographs built at LASP: the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) aboard the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission, and the...
March 12, 2024
Earth Science Applications: Lessons Learned
Lawrence Friedl
NASA Earth Science has put significant attention towards enabling uses of Earth science information to support decision making activities by public and private sector organizations. In addition to supporting technical innovations, NASA also pursued several programmatic...
March 7, 2024
Climate Responses Under an Extreme Quiet Sun Scenario
Hanli Liu
Fundamental understanding of the climate responses to solar variability is obscured by the large and complex climate variability. This long-standing issue is addressed here by examining climate responses under an extreme quiet sun (EQS) scenario, obtained...
February 22, 2024
Dynamical Surprises in Saturn’s Rings
Glen Stewart
Our current understanding of planet formation is informed by ongoing observations of circumstellar disks around young stars.   The improving spatial resolution of these observations has revealed a variety of structures in these dusty gas disks, including...
February 8, 2024
Filling the Gap: Observing Coronal Mass Ejections Continuously Through the Low-, Middle-, and Outer Corona
Phil Chamberlin
On April 8 of this year a large portion of the United States will be able to view one of the most amazing natural phenomena – a total solar eclipse that will sweep across the nation....
January 18, 2024
Science of the Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt
Paul Hayne
Asteroids in the main belt are a diverse population of early solar system remnants, recording both primordial conditions and later dynamical events. Despite their orbital similarities, main-belt asteroids exhibit a wide range of compositional classes indicating...
January 11, 2024
Gravity Wave Variations and Their Influence on Atmospheric Coupling Processes during Stratospheric Sudden Warmings
Chihoko Cullens
Understanding atmospheric coupling from the troposphere/stratosphere to the upper atmosphere is important for improving climate simulations and space weather forecasts. Gravity waves are one of the key elements in driving atmospheric coupling from the troposphere/stratosphere to...
January 4, 2024
Electron Dynamics throughout the Solar System
Jan Deca
Electron-scale physics is often the key ingredient that helps to disentangle complex plasma measurements. In this seminar, I highlight the synergies between in-situ observations, simulation models and laboratory experiments, characterizing the role that localized plasma processes...
November 30, 2023
SUDA: A SUrface Dust Analyser for compositional mapping of the Galilean moon Europa
Sascha Kempf
The Surface Dust Analyser (SUDA) is a dust impact mass spectrometer onboard the Europa Clipper mission for investigating the surface composition of the Galilean moon Europa.  The instrument is a Time-of-Flight (TOF) impact mass spectrometer derived...
November 16, 2023
Estimating the optical depth of Saturn’s main rings using the Cassini Langmuir Probe
Georgios Xystouris
(Lancaster University)
A Langmuir Probe (LP) measures currents from incident charged particles as a function of the applied bias voltage. While onboard a spacecraft the particles are either originated from the surrounding plasma, or emitted (e.g. through photoemission)...
November 2, 2023
Study of Atmospheric Ion Escape From Exoplanet TOI-700 d: Venus Analogs
Tomoaki Nishioka
(LASP/University of Tokyo)
The recent discovery of Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones (HZ) of cool stars (M dwarfs) has focused attention on whether liquid water and life exist on these planets. These planets are exposed to stronger X-ray...
October 19, 2023
The Space Weather Operational Readiness Development (SWORD) Center: a new NASA center of excellence at CU
Thomas Berger
(CU Boulder)
The Space Weather Operational Readiness Development (SWORD) Center is a new international, multi-disciplinary focal point where space weather researchers, operational forecasters, industry partners, and the space weather community will collaborate on transformative research to improve forecasts...
October 26, 2023
Recent spectroscopic observations of stellar flares and possible stellar mass ejections
Yuta Notsu
Flares are frequent energetic explosions in the stellar atmosphere, and are thought to occur by impulsive releases of magnetic energy stored around starspots. Large flares (so called “superflares”) generate strong high energy X-ray and ultraviolet emissions...