Weekly Calendar of Events

APRIL 27 - MAY 1, 2015


1:00 pm: Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) Pizza Lunch. "Do Galaxy Clusters Boil?" Dr. Michael McCourt, CfA, and "New Windows on Galaxy Cluster Astrophysics: Prospects for Astro-H," Dr. Mark Bautz, MIT. Phillips Auditorium.


12:30 pm: High Energy Astrophysics Division Lunch Talk. 1) "Publicizing Astronomy: Motivation, Newsworthiness and Practical Tips," Dr. Peter Edmonds, CfA, and 2) "An Extended Corona in the Black Hole + Wolf-Rayet Binary IC10 X-1, and Implications for ULXs," Dr. Robin Barnard, CfA. Phillips Auditorium.

Abstract: 1) NASA has long considered publicity to be a critical feature of their astrophysics missions, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory is no exception. The Chandra Education and Public Outreach group here at the Center for Astrophysics leads this important publicity effort. After giving a brief summary of our work I will discuss some of the key motivations for doing astronomy publicity, and will explain a few of the features that characterize a newsworthy story. I will finish by giving some practical advice about how astronomers can help publicity efforts for Chandra and other observatories. 2) The study of high inclination X-ray binaries in our own Galaxy has yielded great insight into the geometry of the emission regions, thanks to photometric absorption in the outer accretion disk. These "dipping sources" have extended coronae with estimated radii ~20,000--700,000 km, increasing with luminosity; however, they all contain neutron star accretors. If black hole X-ray binaries exhibit similarly extended coronae, then many of the mysterious Ultraluminous X-ray sources may be BH XBs with stellar mass black hole accretors and extended coronae. IC10 X-1 is a dynamically confirmed black hole + Wolf-Rayet binary that exihibits periodic eclipses, and in some observations approaches the ULX luminosity regime. As such, I was eager to observe the full orbital cycle for many years, and recently got the chance to. In this talk I will present our results.

1:00 pm: Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) Seminar. "Final Fate of Massive Collapsing Stars in Einstein Gravity," Dr. Pankaj Joshi, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Pratt Conference Room.


10:30 am: Science Education Department Seminar. "Portal: Inner and Outer Space," Artist/Professor Emeritus Rebecca Kamen. Phillips Auditorium.

Abstract: Inspired by the process of scientific discovery and research in the fields of astrophysics and neuroscience Kamen's powerpoint lecture will explore how art provides new ways of "seeing" relationships between inner and outer space. Portal, a new sculpture and sound installation inspired by gravitational wave physics and black holes will also be discussed. Currently on view at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, Portal was created in celebration of the centennial of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.

11:00 am: Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) Colloquium. "From Snowflakes to Snowballs: Bypassing the Bouncing Barrier in Planetesimal Formation," Dr. Sally Dodson-Robinson, University of Delaware. Pratt Conference Room.

4:00 pm: Colloquium. "Hunting the First Galaxies with Gravitational Lensing," Dr. Dan Coe, Space Telescope Science Institute. Preceded by tea at 3:30 pm. Phillips Auditorium.

Abstact: The first galaxies are the next frontier of extragalactic research. How and when did they form, and how did they contribute to reionization? Answers to these questions require both census taking and detailed studies of individual galaxies. The highest redshift searches (z ~ 9 - 12) have yielded fewer candidates than expected, leaving luminosity functions highly uncertain while hinting at accelerated evolution in the first 600 Myr. Gravitational lensing improves the discovery efficiency of high-redshift candidates bright enough for follow-up study. The Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH) Multi-Cycle Treasury program revealed candidates as distant as MACS0647-JD at z ~ 10.8 (420 Myr) lensed to 26th magnitude AB. I will present preliminary new results from our Hubble and Spitzer programs following up the z ~ 11 candidate. I will also present results from the Frontier Fields program, which is obtaining deep Hubble and Spitzer imaging of six strong lensing clusters and six "blank" fields. The Frontier Fields are yielding sizable samples of distant galaxies, including the faintest ever observed. Complementary shallow large Hubble programs are required to discover brighter high-redshift candidates suitable for more detailed study by current telescopes and JWST.

The Calendar is prepared by the Web Services Group. Entries may be submitted via email to weekly_cal@cfa.


Section Photo