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Past Colloquia

A Thermometer for Goldilocks: Accurate Temperatures of Kepler M Dwarfs and Their Planets

Cody Hall

Eric Gaidos (Hawaii)

November 22, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

M dwarf stars are especially attractive targets in the search for Earth-like planets because small planets are easier to detect around such stars, and the “habitable zone” is closer to the star where planets are more readily detected. The Kepler mission has discovered Earth-size planets…

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Extragalactic Archeology

Cody Hall

Charlie Conroy (UC-Santa Cruz)

November 15, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

One of the main avenues for understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies is through studying their present day stellar populations.  A new generation of population synthesis tools that we have been developing are now capable of extracting an unprecedented amount of information from high…

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Higher Education Today: Outstanding Training for the Last Century

Cody Hall

David Helfand (Quest U)

November 08, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

Canada has the highest post-secondary participation rate among OECD countries, and yet one of the lowest innovation rates. Why? I will offer an irreverent critique of “modern” universities and provide a description of a provocative alternative in Canada’s first independent, not-for-profit secular institution, Quest University…

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Searching for Ghosts at SNOLAB

Cody Hall

Mark Chen (Queens)

November 01, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

SNOLAB is Canada’s world-leading underground laboratory for particle astrophysics experiments. What are we trying to do there? Detect the invisible: searching for particles of dark matter, measuring the flux of ghostly neutrinos from the Sun and the Earth, trying to observe a most peculiar nuclear…

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Massive Stars Across the Cosmos: Engines, Lighthouses, and Laboratories

Cody Hall

Emily Levesque (Colorado)

October 25, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

Massive stars can provide valuable information on a Galactic, extragalactic, and even cosmological scale. The radiative signatures observed in HII regions and star-forming galaxies are determined by massive stellar populations. Long-duration gamma-ray bursts, produced during the core-collapse deaths of unusual massive stars, can be utilized as powerful probes of the…

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Galaxy mergers in the nearby universe

Cody Hall

Sara Ellison (University of Victoria)

October 21, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

Galaxy mergers are known to trigger dramatic changes in galactic morphology, metallicity, star formation and black hole accretion rates. However, the extent to which these properties respond to the interaction can vary greatly both between different mergers, and at different times during a given interaction. …

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Astrophysics with Submillimeter Galactic Plane Surveys

Cody Hall

Yancy Shirley (Arizona)

October 11, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

The advent of large format bolometers arrays have made it possible to survey the Galaxy and search for embedded sites of star formation in a much less biased way than previous studies.  The Bolocam Galactic Survey (BGPS) is a continuum survey 1.1 mm at 30″…

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The formation of supermassive black holes in the universe

Cody Hall

Priya Natarajan (Yale)

October 04, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

Populations of quasars powered by accretion onto SMBHs with masses in excess of 10^9 solar masses are now detected when the Universe was barely a Gyr old. And in the local universe the centers of several nearby brightest cluster galaxies harbor behemoths that weigh ~ a…

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Ocean Worlds of the Outer Solar System

Cody Hall

Kevin Hand (NASA JPL)

September 27, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

At least five moons in the outer solar system may harbor liquid water oceans. These oceans have likely persisted for much of the history of the solar system and as a result they are highly compelling targets in our search for life beyond Earth. Dr….

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Directly Imaging and Characterizing Extrasolar Planets

Cody Hall

Thayne Currie (Toronto)

September 20, 2013
14:00 - 15:00

Direct imaging is the new frontier in exoplanet detection and the means by which we will eventually discover a true Earth twin around a Sun-like star. In this talk, I introduce the new observing techniques/powerful image processing methods used to directly image planets.  I will…

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