Seminars for Scientists

Spring 2018 Schedule:

60-year old mystery resolved by our first CubeSat

Speaker:   Xinlin Li (LASP)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Jan 18, 2018 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


Our first CubeSat: Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment (CSSWE), launched on September 13th, 2012 and operated more than two years, is a joint project between the department of AES and LASP and has been a tremendous success in Education, Engineering and Science. More than 65 students have involved with this project, working diligently with mentoring… Read more »

A New View of Jupiter’s Aurora: The Juno UVS Perspective

Speaker:   Tommy Greathouse
Date & Time:   Friday, Jan 19, 2018 ,  11:00 AM Location: SPSC W120


The ultraviolet spectrograph on board the Juno spacecraft (Juno UVS) is afforded a unique view of Jupiter’s polar auroras never before seen. Looking down from above each pole from altitudes ranging from ~0.05-7 RJ, UVS is able to see for the first time the behavior of the UV aurora on the night side as well… Read more »

The SORCE Mission Celebrates Fifteen Years

Speaker:   Tom Woods, Marty Snow, Jerry Harder, and Emily Pilinski (LASP)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Jan 25, 2018 ,  1:30 PM Location: SPSC W120


On January 25, 2003, NASA’s Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) spacecraft was launched into space on a Pegasus XL launch vehicle that carried four instruments: the Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM), Solar Stellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment (SOLSTICE), Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM), and Extreme Ultraviolet Photometer System (XPS). The primary objective for SORCE is to measure… Read more »

Discovering Earth’s Radiation Belts: 60th Anniversary of Sputnik & Explorer

Speaker:   Dan Baker (LASP)
Date & Time:   Monday, Jan 29, 2018 ,  2:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


The Space Age began 60 years ago with the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union and the launch of Explorer I by the U.S. This talk will describe some of the political history of the early space programs and will focus especially on the findings of the Explorer space mission that was launched on… Read more »

Wave Coupling in the Upper Atmospheres of Earth and Mars

Speaker:   Federico Gasperini (Utah State University)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Feb 01, 2018 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


There is now convincing evidence that the structure and dynamics of the upper atmosphere of Mars is driven by a combination of solar and wave forcing effects, very similar to Earth. Atmospheric tides are the driving force of short-term temperature and wind changes throughout the planet’s atmosphere. In addition to tides, global-scale waves of longer… Read more »

Magnetic field sounding of Europa’s ocean: Using plasma physics for oceanography

Speaker:   Frank Crary (LASP)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Feb 08, 2018 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


Jupiter’s moon, Europa is believed to have a liquid water ocean below its icy surface. One of the strongest lines of evidence for this is an induced magnetic field signature observed by the Galileo spacecraft. But the Galileo observations are limited and only sufficient to establish the existence of an ocean (or, strictly speaking, a… Read more »

Aritifical Intelligence In Space Weather Prediction: Emerging Trends

Speaker:   Bala Poduval (Space Science Institute)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Feb 22, 2018 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120



JunoCam: Pictures of Jupiter from a new perspective

Speaker:   Candy Hansen (Planetary Science Institute)
Date & Time:   Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


The Juno spacecraft entered into a polar orbit around Jupiter in 2016 carrying JunoCam, a visible light camera. A new understanding of Jupiter’s clouds and storms is emerging from this unique perspective. Conceived as an outreach instrument JunoCam has engaged the public in many aspects of the real work of an imaging team. Stunning images… Read more »

Insights into Mercury’s exosphere: Exploring in-orbit observations of Mercury’s exosphere from LASP’s Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer

Speaker:   Aimee Merkel (LASP)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Mar 08, 2018 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


The Ultraviolet and Visible (UVVS) channel of the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) instrument onboard the MESSENGER spacecraft provided the first opportunity to probe and characterize Mercury’s exosphere from Mercury’s orbit. In this talk I will give an overview of the UVVS observations, discuss data retrieval challenges, and highlight the scientific discoveries revealed from this unique dataset.


Speaker:   Jasper Halekas (University of Iowa)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Mar 15, 2018 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC N248


Though planetary atmospheres are largely gravitationally bound, individual particles nonetheless escape from objects in space, in some cases at significant rates. Measuring this outflow provides us with a unique fingerprint of processes that occur in the atmospheres, surfaces, and sub-surfaces of solar system objects. Atmospheric escape is also relevant to planetary evolution, as it can transform climates over long time scales.

The 2017 Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space

Speaker:   Waleed Abdalati (CIRES/CU) and Bill Gail (Global Weather Corp)
Date & Time:   Wednesday, Mar 21, 2018 ,  2:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


The report from the steering committee for the 2017-2027 National Academies’ decadal survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space (“ESAS 2017”) was released on January 5th, 2017. Like the inaugural survey, which published its final report in 2007, ESAS 2017 was requested by NASA, NOAA, and the USGS. The survey’s overarching objective is to… Read more »

Formation of the lunar fossil bulges and its implication for the early Earth and Moon

Speaker:   Shijie Zhong (CU Boulder)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Apr 05, 2018 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120



140 Years Of The “Extended” Solar Cycle: Predictability, Expectations for SUNSPOT Cycle 25 and What Is To Follow

Speaker:   Scott McIntosh (HAO)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Apr 12, 2018 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


Starting with 22 years of contemporary observations of the solar corona we readily see bands of activity – long-lived patterns that mark out the 22-year solar magnetic activity cycle. The modulation of these bands can explain the landmarks of the sunspot cycle – that only occurs over about half of the magnetic cycle span. Exploiting… Read more »

The Emirates Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS)

Speaker:   Greg Holsclaw (CU/LASP)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Apr 19, 2018 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


The Emirates Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) is one of three instruments to be carried on the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM). From its unique, high-altitude orbit EMM will investigate global and seasonal responses in the lower atmosphere due to solar forcing, the conditions throughout the atmosphere affecting escape rates, and the behavior of the exosphere in time and space. In this talk, we will describe the EMUS investigation with a focus on the instrument’s design and development.

Footpoint Dimmings: The Feet of CMEs

Speaker:   Larisza Krista (CU/CIRES and NOAA/NCEI)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


Results are presented from analyzing the physical and morphological properties of 154 dimmings (transient coronal holes) and the associated flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). During their growth phase, smaller dimmings were found to acquire a higher magnetic flux imbalance (i. e., become more unipolar) than larger dimmings. Furthermore, the EUV intensity of dimmings (indicative of local electron density) was found to correlate with how much plasma was removed and how energetic the eruption was. Studying the morphology of dimmings (single, double, fragmented) also helped identify different configurations of the quasi-open magnetic field.

Venus Exploration & LASP: Mariner, Pioneer, Venera, VEGA, Magellan, Galileo, Cassini, rockets, Hubble, VEX, Akatsuki and beyond

Speaker:   Larry Esposito (CU/LASP)
Date & Time:   Thursday, May 31, 2018 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


A brief history of Venus space exploration, including the contribution from LASP. Continents? Plate tectonics? Volcanoes? Super-Rotation? Acid rain? Global warming? Life? What are the discoveries and future prospects?