Astronomy Colloquium for 2024-02-07

Series: Astronomy Colloquium
Date: Wednesday 07-Feb-2024
Time: 16:05-17:05 (4:05-5:05 pm)
Location: CSS 2400
Speaker: Dr. Igor Andreoni - University of Maryland
Title: Uncharted territories in optical time-domain astronomy

The night sky is ever changing at all time scales. Historically, only bright transient sources that remain observable for weeks or months have been studied intensively, as opposed to faster and dimmer ones. However, we are witnessing a paradigm change with modern wide-field surveys, such as the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), which enable the systematic identification of transients evolving on time scales as short as a few hours - or even several minutes. New telescopes and data processing techniques present us with unprecedented opportunities to probe the optical time domain. In this colloquium, I will show how Vera C. Rubin Observatory LSST will be used to target fast, faint, rare transients currently eluding our searches. I will then present a novel survey that I am conducting with ZTF in a newly developed observing mode, which allows us to observe bright sources with a time resolution as good as 6 milliseconds, over a 47 sq. deg. field of view. This is a remarkable change compared to the > minutes time scales that can be sampled in standard observing mode. The journey in uncharted regions of the luminosity vs time-scale parameter space of optical transients has just begun.

In-person colloquia are usually preceded by espresso and ice cream at 1:45 pm outside room PSC 1150 and are followed by an informal reception at 5:15 pm in that room. Anyone interested in talking with the speaker, or being added to the colloquium announcement email list, should contact the colloquium organizer Dr. Leslie Sage. Lunch will normally be reserved for the speaker to talk to graduate students. Anyone asking a question during a talk is asked to raise their hand and be acknowledged before speaking. Contact Dr. Leslie Sage for details.

Colloquium Organizer: Dr. Leslie Sage


Special accommodations for individuals with disabilities can be made by calling (301) 405-3001. It would be appreciated if we are notified at least one week in advance.


Directions and information about parking can be found here.

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