Seminars for Scientists

Spring 2019 Schedule:

Martian Dust Storm Disturbance to the Near-Planet Space Environment and Implications for Atmospheric Loss

Speaker:   Xiaohua Fang (LASP)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


Mars experiences regional and planet-encircling dust storms episodically, during which dust particles are lifted to significantly high altitudes over a broad area of the surface. These dust events intensify atmospheric heating through the absorption of solar radiation, followed by significant alteration of the atmospheric thermal structure and circulation regionally and even globally. While the dust… Read more »

Evolution of Asteroids

Speaker:   Oleksiy Golubov (Kharkiv National University/CU Boulder)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Feb 07, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


In my talk, I will trace evolution of asteroids, from their obscure beginnings in the dusty protoplanetary disk, through their turbulent life among myriads of gravitational perturbations in the Solar System, and to the glorious end of the luckiest of them as falling stars in the Earth atmosphere. I will briefly describe what we learn… Read more »

Data Assimilation & Machine Learning to Set the Stage for the Prediction of Short Term Solar Activity

Speaker:   Benoit Tremblay (University of Montreal)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Feb 14, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


Eruptive events of the Sun are often accompanied by the acceleration of energetic particles which can have significant impacts on Earth’s environment. However, the mechanism responsible for such phenomena is not sufficiently well understood to be able to predict their occurrence.Satellites and ground-based observatories probe the Sun’s photosphere, chromosphere and corona and are key in studying solar activity. Numerical models… Read more »

A Deep Learning Virtual Instrument for Monitoring Extreme UV Solar Spectral Irradiance

Speaker:   Andres Munoz-Jaramillo (SWRI)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


Extreme UV (EUV) radiation from the Sun is pivotal to the energy balance of the Earth’s Thermosphere and Ionosphere (where most of our satellites reside), driving changes in density that determine satellite orbital decay. To characterize and monitor solar forcing on this system and associated space weather impacts, the EUV Variability Experiment (EVE) instrument onboard… Read more »

The Great Space Weather Storm of 4-5 August 1972 – A Carrington-class Storm in Disguise?

Speaker:   Delores Knipp (CCAR, CU Boulder; NCAR/HAO)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Feb 28, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


In early August 1972, near the end of solar cycle 20, the Sun produced a series of flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that bear the signatures of a Carrington-level event.  The ejecta associated with the 4 August ~X-20 flare arrived at Earth in only 14.6 hr. This transit was made possible by the path-clearing… Read more »

Spectropolarimetric diagnostics of the Solar atmosphere

Speaker:   Ivan Milic (LASP/CU Boulder)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Mar 07, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


To probe physical conditions in the atmosphere of the Sun we have to rely on remote sensing, that is, we have to decipher the signatures of various physical processes in the spectra of the Sun. To perform reliable diagnostics we have to model the spectra formation with satisfactory degree of realism, but also to develop… Read more »

Radial Variation of the Solar Wind, and Solar Wind Statistics Relevant for Space Weather

Speaker:   Heather Elliott (SwRI)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Apr 04, 2019 ,  2:00 PM Location: SPSC N248


Many solar wind parameters vary systematically with increasing distance, and there are strong relationships amongst solar wind parameters and between the solar wind and Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) particularly for the typical pattern of fast and slow solar wind referred to as the background solar wind. We examine the radial profiles for the solar wind parameters using Helios, Ulysses, New Horizons, and Voyager observations. By combining New Horizons solar wind observations with solar wind observations from ACE and STEREO, we determine how much the solar wind slows in the outer heliosphere as interstellar material is picked up by the solar wind.

Multi-scale Dynamics in Geospace Revealed by Optical Measurements

Speaker:   Toshi Nishimura (Center for Space Physics/Boston University)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Apr 04, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: JILA Auditorium (Main Campus)


This is a special seminar on Main Campus. Aurora, optical emissions in the upper polar atmosphere, reflects a variety of space phenomena, and offers an opportunity for remote sensing of the space environment. Processes associated with aurora are not only important for Space Physics but also impact the human society such as radio communication and… Read more »

Particle Precipitation in Planetary Environments: Ionospheres, Matt Damon, and Dead Bugs

Speaker:   Robert Lillis (Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley)
Date & Time:   Tuesday, Apr 09, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: JILA Auditorium (Main Campus)


This is a special seminar on Main Campus. The precipitation of charged particles from space into planetary environments is as important as it is ubiquitous in the solar system, causing myriad effects on planetary atmospheres, surfaces, and biomatter. In this seminar I’ll focus on two environments in particular: Mars and icy moons. First, precipitation of… Read more »

Sensitivity Study of the Enceladus Geysers’ Outgassing Parameters from DSMC Simulations

Speaker:   Arnaud Mahieux (UT Austin/Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


The two-phase water plumes arising from the Enceladus South pole of are a key signature of what lies below the surface. Multiple Cassini instruments measured the gas-particle plume over the warm Tiger Stripe region during several close flybys. Numerous observations also exist of the near-vent regions in the VIS and IR. The most likely source… Read more »

Plasma Waves: Micro-scale Physics with Macro-scale Consequences

Speaker:   David Malaspina (CU/LASP)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: JILA Auditorium (Main Campus)


This is a special seminar on Main Campus. We live in a universe of waves. In astrophysical objects, in the clouds overhead, in the beat of our hearts, the transport of energy is often mediated by waves. In space plasmas, waves occur both on large scales, where magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) can describe their behavior, and on… Read more »

The Gas Giants as Unique Laboratories for Fundamental Space Plasma Processes

Speaker:   Ali Sulaiman (University of Iowa)
Date & Time:   Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: JILA Auditorium (Main Campus)


Jupiter and Saturn’s internal magnetic fields carve out a cavity in the solar wind (and its embedded interplanetary magnetic field) to form two of the largest magnetospheres in our solar system. Their locations in the heliosphere are characterized by vastly different solar wind conditions than are available at Earth, thus affording, for example, the exploration… Read more »

Disentangling the 3D Dynamics of Particle and Wave Populations in Earth’s Magnetosphere

Speaker:   Lauren Blum (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: JILA Auditorium (Main Campus)


This is a special seminar on Main Campus. The Earth’s magnetosphere is filled with various charged particle populations spanning orders of magnitude in energy, from the very cold (~eV) dense plasmasphere up to the high energy (~MeV) electrons trapped in the Van Allen radiation belts.  Here we examine the coupled nature of these populations and… Read more »

Developing Space Physics in a Developing Country, 1949-1964

Speaker:   Juan Roederer (LASP)
Date & Time:   Thursday, Apr 25, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


In mid-1949 an enterprising teaching assistant at the University of Buenos Aires motivated me and three physics sophomore buddies (including my future wife) to start a modest research project using the newly developed and relatively cheap technique of nuclear photographic emulsions for the study of energetic cosmic ray particles. At that time, cosmic radiation was… Read more »

A New View of the Moon from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Speaker:   Paul Hayne (CU/LASP)
Date & Time:   Thursday, May 02, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


In this talk, I will summarize the new view of the Moon emerging from 10 years of observation by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). I will highlight discoveries from LRO and other recent missions, which shed light on the Moon’s origins, volcanic activity, surface evolution, and especially the tantalizing possibility of polar ice deposits. As NASA once again pivots toward lunar exploration, these discoveries and unresolved questions will guide human and robotic missions in the years to come.

Rotational Evolution of Small Granular Asteroids and the source of their Strength

Speaker:   Paul Sánchez (CCAR, CU Boulder)
Date & Time:   Thursday, May 16, 2019 ,  4:00 PM Location: SPSC W120


By now it has been accepted that most of the small asteroids in the Solar System are granular aggregates kept together by gravitational and possibly, cohesive forces. These aggregates can form, deform and disrupt over millennia subjected to different internal and external factors that would ultimately determine how they evolve over time. Parameters such as… Read more »