Seminars for Scientists

Spring 2014 Schedule:

1/24/2014 Special Seminar – The Jovian Polar Cap Aurora

Speaker:   Tom Cravens (Kansas University)
Date & Time:   1/25 ,  2:30pm Location: LSTB 299


Jupiter’s powerful auroral emissions cover a broad range in the photon spectrum ranging from radio emissions to ultraviolet (UV) and x-rays. UV observations suggest an auroral input flux power of 1013 – 1014 W mostly from the main auroral oval.  The main oval emission is thought to be associated with upward electrical current on field-lines… Read more »

2/25/2014 Special Seminar – The Rosetta Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA)

Speaker:   Stephen Fuselier (SwRI)
Date & Time:   2/25 ,  11:00am Location: SPSC W120


The goal of the ROSINA instrument is to determine the elemental and isotopic composition of the coma of a comet. The talk will introduce the Rosetta mission and the ROSINA instrument and then focus on mass spectrometer measurements and what they will tell us about the solar system.

3/6/2014 Seminar – Disturbances of the Wintertime Polar Upper Stratosphere and Lower Mesosphere: Observations, Modeling, and Mechanisms

Speaker:   Katelynn Greer (LASP, CU Boulder)
Date & Time:   3/6 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC W120


This investigation studies the inherent variability and dynamical mechanisms responsible for upper stratosphere / lower mesosphere (USLM) disturbances in the thermal structure of the wintertime polar region. USLM disturbances are intimately related to the onset and development of minor and major stratospheric warmings. These disturbances appear to contribute to the preconditioning of the middle atmosphere… Read more »

3/11/2014 Special Seminar – Thermal processes in the solar corona

Speaker:   Amir Caspi
Date & Time:   3/11 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC W120


The solar corona, at temperatures of ~1-2 megaKelvin (MK), is significantly hotter, by about 2 orders of magnitude, than the chromosphere and photosphere. Temperatures above active regions are typically even higher, ~4-6 MK, while during solar flares, plasma temperatures can rise up to 30-50 MK, possibly hotter. Exactly how this plasma is heated, during flares… Read more »

3/20/2014 Seminar – Punctuated Enhancements and Sudden Losses of Highly Relativistic Radiation Belt Electrons: Van Allen Probes Observations

Speaker:   Dan Baker (LASP, CU Boulder)
Date & Time:   3/20 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC W120


The dual-spacecraft Van Allen Probes mission has already provided a new window into megaelectron Volt (MeV) particle dynamics in the Earth’s radiation belts. Observations (up to E ~10 MeV) show clearly the behavior of the outer electron radiation belt at different time scales: months-long periods of gradual inward radial diffusive transport and weak loss being… Read more »

3/27/2014 Seminar – First Results from LDEX

Speaker:   Mihaly Horanyi (LASP, CU Boulder)
Date & Time:   3/27 ,  4:00pm Location: LSTB 299


The lunar dust environment is expected to be dominated by submicron-sized dust particles released from the Moon due to the continual bombardment by micrometeoroids, and possibly due to UV radiation and plasma-induced near-surface intense electric fields. The LASP built Lunar Dust EXperiment (LDEX) instrument is designed to map the spatial and temporal variability of the… Read more »

4/7/2014 LASP/APS Joint Seminar – Solar Wind – Magnetosphere – Planetary Core Coupling at Mercury

Speaker:   James Slavin (University of Michigan)
Date & Time:   4/7 ,  4:00pm Location: JILA Auditorium


MESSEGNER plasma and magnetic field observations of Mercury’s space environment are reviewed. Mercury’s magnetosphere is created by the solar wind interaction with its highly dipolar, spin-axis aligned magnetic field. Structurally it resembles that of Earth in many respects, but the magnetic field intensities and plasma densities are all higher at Mercury due to the increased… Read more »

4/10/2014 Seminar – From Pebbles to Planets

Speaker:   Katherine Kretke (Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO)
Date & Time:   4/10 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC W120


In recent years there has been a radical shift in the theoretical modelling of small-body and planet formation.  Particles with stopping times comparable to their orbital times, often called “pebbles” (although they range from centimeters to meters in size), interact with gaseous protoplanetary disks in very special ways.  This allows them to possibly not only… Read more »

4/14/2014 Special Seminar – Strateole 2: a long-duration balloon project for studying the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere in the deep tropics

Speaker:   Albert Hertzog (Laboratoire de Meterologie Dynamique, CNRS)
Date & Time:   4/14 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC W120


The transition region between the troposphere and the stratosphere in the tropics, the so-called tropical tropopause layer (TTL), has a key role in the climate system. Located above the mean detrainment level of deep convection, the TTL is the seat of a slow wave-driven upward motion where air progressively acquires stratospheric characteristics. In particular, air… Read more »

4/17/2014 Seminar – Europa’s Atmosphere, Aurora and Plumes

Speaker:   Melissa McGrath (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL)
Date & Time:   4/17 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC W120


Europa, with its subsurface water ocean and apparent ingredients for life, is perhaps the most habitable environment currently known in our solar system beyond the Earth. Like the other Galilean satellites, Europa also possesses a tenuous atmosphere, which has been of greatest interest because it reflects the surface composition of the satellite, and therefore also… Read more »

5/1/2014 Seminar – Radiation belt precipitation: an overview of mechanisms and recent simulation results – cancelled

Speaker:   Thiago Brito
Date & Time:   5/1 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC W120


Radiation belt precipitation has been investigated since their discovery by Van Allen. This kind of loss is a major sink for the energetic particle population in our magnetosphere. There are many types of wave-particle interactions and other phenomena that can cause these particles to be lost to the atmosphere. I will give a brief overview… Read more »

5/15/2014 Seminar – Satellite-based cloud algorithms at CIMSS, Madison

Speaker:   Andi Walther (University of Wisconsin)
Date & Time:   5/15 ,  4:00pm Location: SPSC W120


The  Algorithm Working Group (AWG) at CIMSS is responsible for the development of satellite-based cloud algorithms for NOAA missions from several current and future sensors. Examples are the 36-years long AVHRR-based cloud climatology PATMOS-x, the current Suomi NPP/JPSS retrievals and retrieval development for the future GOES-ABI. Products include among others calibrated reflectance and radiation values,… Read more »