Seminars for Scientists

Fall 2014 Schedule:

6/12/2014 Seminar – The Atmospheric Circulation of Pluto and Trition as Predicted by a General Circulation Model

Speaker:   Angela Zalucha (SETI Institute)
Date & Time:   6/12 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC N248


A variety of previous studies have investigated the 1D vertical temperature-pressure profiles of Pluto and Triton’s atmospheres, while another class of models has investigated the bulk north-south transport of volatiles on these worlds.  However, only recently have modern, 3D general circulation models (GCMs) been applied to Pluto and Triton. GCMs are global models that solve… Read more »

7/24/2014 Seminar – The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission and the Radio & Plasma Wave Investigation (RPWI)

Speaker:   Jan-Erik Wahlund (Swedish Institute of Space Physics)
Date & Time:   7/24 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC N248


The ESA JUICE mission and its science objectives will be outlined. The RPWI instrument, methods and science objectives will be described in somewhat more detail with frequent examples from the Cassini RPWS/Langmuir probe results in the inner plasma disk of Saturn and Enceladus plume. The JUICE mission is now ending the phase A/B1, and approach… Read more »

8/7/2014 Seminar – Flare Clustering – The Non-Random Nature of the GOES Data

Speaker:   Alan Title (Lockheed Martin Solar & Astrophysics Lab)
Date & Time:   8/7 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC W120


Since the mid 1970’s the statistics of flares has been intensively examined because of the clues that they might provide on both flare origins and flare prediction. A scientific debate has continued for more than 40 years in spite of the fact that most papers relay entirely or in part on the X-ray flare data… Read more »

8/28/2014 Seminar – From balloons to the volcano: a journey into high spatial resolution solar physics

Speaker:   V. Martinez Pillet (NSO)
Date & Time:   8/28 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC W120


The spatial resolutions and sensitivities achieved in today’s solar observations are still far from where the physics of the Sun indicate they need to be. Present day efforts concentrate in 1m-class telescopes that are becoming available, including the balloon-borne SUNRISE telescope. In the future, the NSO-led 4m aperture Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST, under… Read more »

10/2/2014 Seminar – Development and in-orbit testing of an X-ray detector on BeEagleSAT, a 2U CubeSat

Speaker:   Emrah Kalemci (Sabanci University, Turkey)
Date & Time:   10/2 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC W120


A CdZnTe based semiconductor X-ray detector (XRD) and its associated readout electronics is developed by the High Energy Astrophysics Detector Laboratory of Sabanci University, and Space Systems Design Laboratory of Istanbul Technical University, along with an SME partner. The detector will utilize 30 orthogonal cross strip electrodes (and 3 steering electrodes in between anodes) whose… Read more »

10/9/2014 Seminar – UV Spectroscopy of the Titan Airglow and Molecular Nitrogen Gas

Speaker:   Joe Ajello (JPL/ Caltech)
Date & Time:   10/9 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299


There are four nitrogen-bearing atmospheres in the solar system: Titan, Triton, Earth, and Pluto. The complex UV airglow signature of N2 and its dissociation products from the thermosphere and exobase from these planetary atmospheres are the principal means of studying the solar and magnetospheric energy inputs, chemistry and atmospheric evolution from volatile escape. The present-day… Read more »

10/23/2014 Seminar – The early evolution of the Moon: Looking beneath the surface with GRAIL gravity data

Speaker:   Jeff Andrews-Hanna (Colorado School of Mines)
Date & Time:   10/23 ,  4:00 pm Location: SPSC W120


The geological record of the earliest history of the Moon is poorly preserved as a result of the heavy impact bombardment of the surface prior to 3.7 Ga.  However, the signatures of early lunar evolution are preserved in the subsurface.  Recent data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission is providing a view… Read more »

10/30/2014 Seminar – Io: Jupiter’s volcanic wonderland told through the story of its atmosphere

Speaker:   Constantine Tsang (SwRI)
Date & Time:   10/30 ,  4:00 pm Location: SPSC W120


The grandfather of active geologic processes in our solar system, which now seem more commonplace than not with active plumes on Enceladus and tantalizingly on Europa, was Io and its volcanoes. Io is host to hundreds of active volcanoes, large and small, and the plume fallout from these eruptions leads to the coloration of its… Read more »

11/6/2014 Seminar- Peering into the modern martian climate and geophysical processes: Studies on martian regolith analogs

Speaker:   Jennifer Hanley (Southwest Research Institute)
Date & Time:   11/6 ,  4:00 pm Location: SPSC W120


Mechanical properties of martian regolith are important to understand since they affect various geophysical processes such as slope stability and wind erosion. The nature of cohesive bonds is also affected by the hydrologic cycle and aqueous geochemistry. Thus, mechanical properties serve as a window to modern martian climate processes. In this talk I will explain… Read more »

11/13/2014 Seminar – Optical Frequency Combs in the Open Air

Speaker:   Ian Coddington (NIST)
Date & Time:   11/13 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


Frequency combs are a novel laser source that have been exploited in an exciting range of laboratory-bound precision measurements. I will discuss development of a fieldable frequency combs, and experiments that send comb light across outdoor air paths to explore both accurate atmospheric measurements of greenhouse gasses and optical time-frequency transfer to support navigation and… Read more »

11/19/2014 Seminar – The Martian Ionosphere and Induced Magnetosphere, studied with Mars Express

Speaker:   David Andrews (Swedish Institute of Space Physics)
Date & Time:   11/19 ,  1:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


Because of the lack of an active dynamo, Mars does not posses a dipolar magnetic field capable of forming a magnetospheric cavity like that found at Earth.  Instead, the solar wind interacts directly with the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of the planet. A ‘draped’ or ‘induced’ magnetosphere is formed, which rapidly alters with changing solar… Read more »

11/20/2014 Seminar – Geysers, Spiders and Arcade Icons – a Tour of the Unlikely Characters of Saturn’s Icy Satellites.

Speaker:   Carly Howett (Southwest Research Institute)
Date & Time:   11/20 ,  4:00 pm Location: SPSC W120


For over a decade Cassini has been touring the Saturn-system, observing how the icy satellites vary spatially, temporally and spectrally. This has lead to many major discoveries, including Enceladus’ activity and geysers, an anomalous “spider” crater on Rhea and thermal anomalies in the shape of the arcade character “Pac-Man” on Mimas, Tethys and Dione.  Data… Read more »

12/04/2014 Seminar- Lunar magnetic anomalies and a cubesat mission to study them

Speaker:   Ian Garrick-Bethell (UCSC)
Date & Time:   12/4 ,  4:00 pm Location: LSTB A200


Lunar magnetic anomalies were discovered during the Apollo era, but their exact origin remains a puzzle.  The solution will have implications for understanding the origin and history of the lunar dynamo.  Interestingly, some magnetic anomalies are also associated with bright color markings on the surface known as swirls.  Swirls are likely areas where “space weathering”… Read more »

12/10/2014 Seminar – Understanding interstellar dust dynamics in the heliosphere

Speaker:   Veerle Sterken (International Space Science Institute)
Date & Time:   12/10 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


Interstellar dust from the local interstellar cloud passes through the solar system and gives us a chance to study it “in-situ”, using dust detectors on several space missions. In 1993, the first interstellar dust (ISD) particles were detected this way with the cosmic dust detector on the Ulysses mission. Subsequently, more ISD was discovered in… Read more »