Latest talks

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


Begona_Vila_Costas_180314s
Wednesday March 14, 2018
Dr. Begoña Vila Costas
NASA/GSFC

Abstract

The James Webb Space Telescope is the largest, most complex telescope being launched to date. It includes segmented folded mirrors and a folded sunshield deploying on orbit and instruments with state of the art infrared detectors and different science capabilities operating below 45K (-228 C).
A rigorous test campaign including ambient and cryogenic tests to verify the health, performance and operations readiness in the conditions it will see on orbit is near its completion. We will talk about some of those tests and their challenges as all the observatory components get assembled, covering in particular the comprehensive program of thermal, optical, electrical and operational tests in the cryogenic chambers at Goddard Space Flight Center and Johnson Space Center. We will talk also about how the telescope achieves the pointing stability required for science operations by using the various components of its Fine Guidance System.


Hector_Socas_180308s
Thursday March 8, 2018
Dr. Hector Socas Navarro
IAC

Abstract

This paper puts forward a possible new indicator for the presence of moderately advanced civilizations on transiting exoplanets. The idea is to examine the region of space around a planet where potential geostationary or geosynchronous satellites would orbit (herafter, the Clarke exobelt). Civilizations with a high density of devices and/or space junk in that region, but otherwise similar to ours in terms of space technology (our working definition of “moderately advanced”), may leave a noticeable imprint on the light curve of the parent star. The main contribution to such signature comes from the exobelt edge, where its opacity is maximum due to geometrical projection. Numerical simulations have been conducted for a variety of possible scenarios. In some cases, a Clarke exobelt with a fraction alface-on opacity of ∼10^{-4} would be easily observable with existing instrumentation. Simulations of Clarke exobelts and natural rings are used to quantify how they can be distinguished by their light curve.

To appear in ApJ.


Olga_Zamora_180307s
Wednesday March 7, 2018
Dr. Olga Zamora, Juan José Sanabria y Francisco Javier Hernández
IAC

Abstract

En esta charla hablaremos sobre el proceso de actualización
del telescopio IAC80 en los últimos años, con el objetivo de llevar a cabo
observaciones muy exigentes en cuanto a número de imágenes, precisión temporal y astrométrica.
Se presentará la nueva cámara de gran campo CAMELOT-2
y su interfaz inteligente de usuario, que permite una observación cuasi-robótica por medio de macros
automáticas. Por último, se presentará el diseño del nuevo sistema de control, base de una futura robotización.


giuseppina_battaglia_180306s
Tuesday March 6, 2018
Dr. Giuseppina Battaglia
IAC

Abstract

In a framework where galaxies form hierarchically, extended stellar haloes are predicted to be an ubiquitous feature around Milky Way-like galaxies and to consist mainly of the shredded stellar component of smaller galactic systems. The type of accreted stellar systems are expected to vary according to the specific accretion and merging history of a given galaxy, and so is the fraction of stars formed in situ versus accreted. Analysis of the chemical properties of Milky Way halo stars out to large Galactocentric radii can provide important insights into the properties of the environment in which the stars that contributed to the build-up of different regions of the Milky Way stellar halo formed. In this talk I will first give an overview of some of the main properties of the Milky Way stellar halo based on literature studies. I will then present results concerning the chemical properties of the outer regions of the Milky Way stellar halo, based on the elemental abundances of halo stars with large present-day Galactocentric distances, >15 kpc. The data-set we acquired consists of high resolution HET/HRS, Magellan/MIKE and VLT/UVES spectra for 28 red giant branch stars covering a wide metallicity range, -3.1 ≲ [Fe/H] ≲-0.6. We show that the ratio of α-elements over Fe as a function of [Fe/H] for our sample of outer halo stars is not dissimilar from the pattern shown by MW halo stars from solar neighborhood samples. On the other hand, significant differences appear at [Fe/H] ≳-1.5 when considering chemical abundance ratios such as [Ba/Fe], [Na/Fe], [Ni/Fe], [Eu/Fe], [Ba/Y]. Qualitatively, this type of chemical abundance trends are observed in massive dwarf galaxies, such as Sagittarius and the Large Magellanic Cloud. This appears to suggest a larger contribution in the outer halo of stars formed in an environment with high initial star formation rate and already polluted by asymptotic giant branch stars with respect to inner halo samples. 


habib_khosroshahi_180222s
Thursday February 22, 2018
Dr. Habib Khosroshahi
School of Astronomy, IPM - Tehran

Abstract

Galaxy groups and clusters are believed to influence galaxy evolution. It has been shown that the groups with early formation epoch, also known as fossil groups, differ in halo and IGM properties, compared to the general population of galaxy groups. However, there is a controversy over the properties of the brightest group galaxies which may have been affected by the group's dynamical state. I will focus on two properties of the brightest group galaxies, the AGN activity and the stellar population. The groups with early formation epoch, or dynamically old, host under luminous AGNs in radio relative to those hosted by dynamically young groups. There is no evidence that such a distinction exists in the stellar population of these galaxies, leaving the debate open whether this is an observational limitation. 


alessandro_lupi_180208s
Thursday February 8, 2018
Dr. Alessandro Lupi
Institut d'astrophysique de Paris

Abstract

Molecular hydrogen (H2) is a fundamental component of galaxies, being the most abundant element in molecular clouds, where stars form, and an important source of radiative cooling at low temperature. With the advent of the ALMA telescope, a large amount of data about the distribution of H2 in galaxies has become available. However, the large majority of numerical simulations on galactic and cosmological scales still lacks the ability to directly follow the formation and dissociation of H2, and must rely on pre-calibrated sub-grid models to compare the results with observations. I will present a new model to self-consistently track the evolution of H2, including gas and dust shielding, H2 self-shielding, star formation (SF), supernova feedback, and extragalactic and local stellar radiation. I will discuss the results of a suite of hydrodynamic simulations of an isolated gas-rich galaxy at z=3, showing that the model can naturally reproduce the observed correlation between SF and H2 surface densities, without assuming any a priori dependence of SF on the H2 abundance. I will also present a study of the kinematics and dynamics of molecular gas in high-redshift quasars (z=6), where we investigate whether a central accreting black hole (BH) can significantly affect the H2 distribution in the host galaxy and generate molecular outflows.


savita_mathur_180201s
Thursday February 1, 2018
Dr. Savita Mathur
IAC

Abstract


More than 40 years ago, Skumanich (1972) showed how rotation and magnetic activity decreased with the age of a solar-like star. While this result was based on the study of young cluster stars, later observations  of other clusters, still younger than the Sun, agreed with this “gyrochronology” relationship.

With the high-quality photometric data collected by the Kepler mission, we have the opportunity to test and study the evolution of stellar dynamics to older field stars. While for clusters, the determination of stellar ages is eased by the fact that the stars were born from the same molecular cloud, it gets trickier and less precise for field stars. This is where asteroseismology plays an important role by providing more precise ages than any other classical methods.

In this talk I will mostly focus on asteroseismic targets from solar-like stars to red giants where we could measure surface rotation, core rotation, and magnetic activity. I will show how the photometric data of Kepler is providing key information in the understanding of angular momentum transport in stars and of magnetic activity at different evolutionary stages of a star like the Sun.


kris_youakim_180123s
Tuesday January 23, 2018
Dr. Kris Youakim
Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP)

Abstract

The most metal-poor stars in the Galaxy are relics from the first generations of star formation, and their properties can reveal key information about the formation and evolution of the Milky Way. However, only a small number of these extremely rare stars are currently known, due to the difficulty in finding them amongst the overwhelmingly more abundant stars of higher metallicity. In this talk, I will present the Pristine survey, a narrow-band photometric survey in the wavelength region around the Ca H&K absorption lines designed to efficiently search for extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars. In the first three years of the survey, we have covered ~2,500 square degrees of sky in the Northern hemisphere using the CFHT on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, as well as a sizeable spectroscopic follow-up sample using mostly the INT and WHT in La Palma. With this data, we have demonstrated success rates of 70% for finding stars with [Fe/H] < -2.5, and 22% for stars with [Fe/H] < -3.0. This represents a significant improvement upon previous searches for EMP stars, which have reported success rates of 3-4%. With this efficiency, the Pristine survey is poised to make a significant contribution to constraining the metal-poor tail of the metallicity distribution function, as well as increasing the number of known ultra metal-poor (UMP) stars in the literature. In addition, I will discuss how the Pristine survey is being used to characterise the faint dwarf galaxy population, and analyse substructure in the Galactic Halo.


carlos_del_burgo_180116s
Tuesday January 16, 2018
Dr. Carlos del Burgo
INAOE

Abstract

We employ a Bayesian method to infer stellar parameters from the PARSEC  v1.2S library of stellar evolution models and test the accuracy of these theoretical predictions. Detached eclipsing binaries are ideal for testing. We employ a compilation of 165 detached eclipsing binary systems of our galaxy and the Magellanic clouds with reliable metallicities and measurements for the mass and radius to 2 per cent precision for most of them. We complement the analysis with 107 stars that are closer than 300 pc, for which we adopted solar metallicity. The applied Bayesian analysis relies on a prior for the initial mass function and flat priors for age and metallicity, and it takes on input the effective temperature, radius, and metallicity, and their uncertainties, returning theoretical predictions for other stellar parameters of the binaries. Our research is mainly based on the comparison of dynamical masses with the theoretical predictions for the selected binary systems. We determine the precision of the models. Also, we derive distances for the binaries, which are compared with trigonometric parallaxes whenever possible. We discuss the effects of evolution and the challenges associated with the determination of theoretical stellar ages.


Ignacio_Martin-Navarro_171219s
Tuesday December 19, 2017
Dr. Ignacio Martín Navarro
University of California, Santa Cruz

Abstract

Black holes are a fundamental ingredient in our current understanding of galaxy formation. In the absence of their feedback, state-of-the-art numerical simulations fail to match the observed properties of massive galaxies. Effectively, within a Lambda Cold Dark Matter Universe, black holes reconcile cosmology and galaxy formation theories by regulating baryonic processes. However, despite of this widely-accepted and fundamental role, evidence of black hole regulated star formation remains elusive. I will present our observational efforts to characterize and understand the interplay between black hole activity and star formation, based on detailed stellar populations analyses. Our observations show that black hole and stellar population properties are tightly related, calling for a rich and complex observational framework where star formation, black holes and chemical enrichment evolve coupled in time.



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