Recent Talks

List of all the talks in the archive, sorted by date.

Thursday February 6, 2020
Dr. Jorge Iglesias Páramo
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía - CSIC


In this talk I will present the current status of the Calar
Alto observatory. I will review the most important highlights published
in 2019, as well as the legacy programs and instrumental developments
ongoing at the observatory at present. Finally, I will summarize the
recent call for public surveys and new instrumentation, still open, that
will be presented in the RIA workshop to be held at IAA headquarters in
March 2020.

Thursday January 30, 2020
Prof. Javier Garcia Campayo
Universidad de Zaragoza


Mindfulness o atención plena es un estado de la mente que permite estar atento al momento presente con aceptación. Y describe también la técnica psicológica que permite alcanzar este estado. Mindfulness se asocia a una gran bienestar físico y psicológico y por eso su práctica se está extendiendo a nivel internacional y se aplica en el área de la salud, la educación y las organizaciones.
En el coloquio sentaremos las bases teóricas de mindfulness, realizaremos algunas prácticas básicas y analizaremos los mecanismos de acción y la utilidad de mindfulness en el día a día.

Tuesday January 28, 2020
Martin Blazek
Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Science


Ground based observations of exoplanets supporting space
missions are as important as the missions themselves. The exoplanet group
at the Czech Academy of Sciences (AI CAS), which has been formed in 2016,
uses the Ondřejov Echelle Spectrograph (OES) for exoplanet observations.
The OES is installed at 2-m Perek Telescope (CZ) and observations are
mainly focused on Kepler/K2 and TESS targets. I will present here latest
results from OES as well as activities of the exoplanetary group at AI CAS
together with future plans. As an Erasmus+ project student staying at IAC
I will also mention preliminary results of secondary eclipse observations
with four-colour MuSCAT2 photometer installed at 1.52-m Telescopio Carlos
Sanchéz of Teide Observatory.

Wednesday January 22, 2020
Mirel Birlain
IMCCE, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS UNR8028, PSL Research University


HARISSA is the acronym of ESO/VLT/SPHERE large program of high angular-resolution imaging survey of asteroids. The program was granted by 152hours of observations for five semesters, between 2017 and 2019. Its objective was the survey of a representative sample of large asteroids (diameter larger than 100km) for ~35 objects throughout their rotation. The presentation will point some results of highlighted science produced and published of this program.

Friday January 10, 2020
Dr. Shunsuke Honda
Kyoto University


GroundBIRD is a millimeter-wave telescope to observe the polarization patterns of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The telescope scans at a high rotation speed (20 revolutions per minute), and observes ~40% full sky with suppressed atmospheric 1/f noise. High-sensitivity detector arrays of MKIDs (microwave kinetic inductance detectors) are utilized to obtain the fast time response of >1kHz. The cryogenic system keeps the detectors at 250mK for over 24 hours with 20rpm rotation. The data acquisition system is implemented using field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), which realizes flexibly changing frequencies, multiplexing, powers, and also sampling rate for each MKID array. Communication between the detector and other angular readout systems was also established for timing synchronization where the sub-millisecond resolution with 120°/sec rotation is required. The telescope was developed in Japan, and installed at Teide Observatory in September 2019. We have demonstrated that all systems are working correctly by observing the moon.

Friday December 13, 2019
Prof. J. R. Kuhn
IfA, Hawaii


We should find life beyond the solar system ("exolife") within a decade. This will require optical instruments that can perform exoplanet direct imaging.  There are good reasons to expect that telescopes from the ground will lead this search. Unfortunately, none of the currently envisioned large telescopes are optimal for detecting and measuring the emitted or reflected starlight from life-bearing exoplanets. This talk will describe what a 20-100m-class optical telescope would look like and could do if it were designed to solve exoplanet imaging problems. Such a telescope could be initiated today using technologies that are either currently available or under vigorous development.

Thursday December 12, 2019
Dr. Marc Pinsonneault
Ohio State university


Time-domain space missions have revolutionized our understanding of stellar physics and stellar populations. Virtually all evolved stars can be detected as oscillators in missions such as Kepler, K2, TESS and PLATO.  Asteroseismology, or the study of stellar oscillations, can be combined with spectroscopy to infer masses, radii and ages for very large samples of stars.  This asteroseismic data can also be used to train machine learning tools to infer ages for even larger stellar population studies, sampling a large fraction of the volume of the Milky Way galaxy. In this talk I demonstrate that asteroseismic radii are in excellent agreement with those inferred using Gaia and spectroscopic data; this demonstrates that the current asteroseismic data is precise and accurate at the 1-2% level.  Major new catalogs for Kepler and K2 data are nearing completion, and I present initial results from both. We find unexpected age patterns in stars though to be chemically old, illustrating the power of age information for Galactic archeology.  Prospects for future progress in the TESS era will also be discussed.

Wednesday December 11, 2019
Dr. José Lull
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


Los funcionarios y sacerdotes del antiguo Egipto formaban una clase social muy jerarquizada en la que sus integrantes tenían múltiples y muy dispares funciones. Algunos de ellos se dedicaban a la observación de la bóveda celeste, y es a estos a los que identificamos comúnmente como astrónomos egipcios. Este seminario estará dedicado al estudio de los términos con los que eran designados los astrónomos, la combinación de estos términos con otros títulos o cargos, y el análisis de los documentos en los que son mencionados a lo largo de la extensa historia de la civilización egipcia. Ello nos permitirá identificar mejor a aquellos antiguos observadores de la bóveda celeste, a sus funciones y su evolución en el tiempo desde el reino Antiguo hasta la Época Romana, centrándonos en algunos de los más singulares. 

Thursday December 5, 2019
Prof. Raffaella Morganti
ASTRON, Netherlands


Our view of the gas and its physical conditions in the central region of AGN has been enriched by the discover of fast and massive outflows of HI and molecular gas. These outflows can be driven by radiation/winds but also by the interaction of the radio plasma with the ISM. Understanding the origin and quantifying their impact requires to trace their location and derive their physical conditions (density of the gas, mass, mass outflow rate and kinetic energy of the outflow etc.). Particularly interesting has been the finding that in the first phase of their life, jet in radio galaxies can be particularly effective in driving such outflows. This crucial phase is at the heart of the idea of feedback, therefore particularly relevant for studying feedback in action.


In this talk, I will present some of the results we have obtained to trace jet-driven HI and molecular gas outflows down to scales ranging from hundred to tens of pc. The impact of low-power radio jets will be discussed and the comparison with the predictions from numerical simulations will also be presented.

Outflows of up to few hundred Msun/yr have been found in molecular gas using ALMA while the HI observed with VLBI is showing that the outflowing gas is clumpy as also predicted from numerical simulations. I will describe the kinematics of the gas and its conditions and the relevance they may have for feedback.    

Tuesday December 3, 2019
Prof. Martin Aube
Sherbrooke University, Canada


Increasing light pollution is a threat to the research capacity of astronomical observatories. The case of the Teide observatory is not an exception, despite the OPTC's sustained protection efforts. We now have powerful modeling tools to theoretically test the impact of a change of lighting devices on the quality of the starry sky. During this project, we will use the Illumina numerical model to create the first decision-making tool aimed at maximizing the restoration of research capacity of an observatory. This innovative tool will actually be used for the restoration of the night sky at the Teide observatory. It will take the form of an excel page, that make it possible to independently modify the conversion plans for each municipality of the island of Tenerife and to determine the related reduction of the sky brightness. It will therefore be possible to target the most effective actions to restore the quality of the night sky at the observatory. The tool will use many pre-executions of the Illumina model. In situ measurements will be also carried out to characterize the current lighting infrastructure, a crutial input to the model.

Upcoming talks

  • TBD
    Dr. Mahmoudreza Oshagh
    Tuesday November 10, 2020 - 12:30  (Online)
  • Galacto-archeology (TBC)
    Dr. Andrea Miglio
    Tuesday November 17, 2020 - 12:30  (Aula)

More upcoming talks

Recent Colloquia