List of Past Astronomy Colloquia : 01-Jan-2005 to 01-Jun-2005

Date:   Wednesday 02-February-2005
Speaker:   Dr. Hal Levison (Southwest Research Institute)
Title:  "The Early Dynamical Evolution of the Outer Solar System: A Fairy Tale"

Date:   Wednesday 16-February-2005
Speaker:   Dr. James Jackson (Boston University)
Title:  "Infrared Dark Clouds: Precursors to Massive Star Formation"

Date:   Wednesday 23-February-2005

Date:   Wednesday 02-March-2005
Speaker:   Dr. Biman Nath (Raman Research Institute)
Title:  "Entropy of the Intracluster Medium: The Role of AGNs"

Date:   Wednesday 09-March-2005
Speaker:   Dr. Crystal Martin (U. of California-Santa Barbara)
Title:  "Understanding the Role of Galactic Winds in Galaxy Formation"

Date:   Wednesday 16-March-2005
Speaker:   Dr. Chris McKee (U. of California-Berkeley)
Title:  "The Formation of the First Stars"

Date:   Wednesday 23-March-2005

Date:   Wednesday 30-March-2005
Speaker:   Dr. Eric Blackman (U. of Rochester)
Title:  "Understanding the Origin and Role of Large Scale Magnetic Fields in Astrophysics"

Date:   Wednesday 06-April-2005
Speaker:   Dr. David Branch (U. of Oklahoma)
Title:  "Type Ia Supernovae: Explosion Models versus Observational Constraints"

Date:   Wednesday 13-April-2005
Speaker:   Dr. Mike Regan (STScI)
Title:  "Spitzer Observations of Spiral Galaxies: Evidence for Secular Evolution"

Date:   Wednesday 20-April-2005
Speaker:   Steve Allen (Stanford/SLAC)
Title:  "Cosmological Constraints from Chandra Studies of the Largest Dynamically Relaxed Galaxy Clusters"

I will present the latest results on the mean matter density, dark energy density and dark energy equation of state from Chandra measurements of the X-ray gas mass fraction in the largest, dynamically relaxed galaxy clusters. This method, like supernovae studies, allows us to measure the acceleration of the Universe directly and leads to comparable, though entirely independent, constraints. I will highlight the remarkably complementary nature of X-ray, cosmic microwave background and supernovae studies and show how the combination of these data already provides interesting constraints on the evolution of dark energy using only minimal priors. I will discuss the prospects for this work, both immediate and longer-term.

Date:   Wednesday 27-April-2005
Speaker:   Dr. Andrea Ghez (UCLA)
Title:  "Unveiling a Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxyi"

Date:   Wednesday 04-May-2005
Speaker:   Dr. Mike Shara (American Museum of Natural History)
Title:  "Novae and Dwarf Novae: Intimate Connections and Extragalactic Populations"

Date:   Wednesday 11-May-2005
Speaker:   Dr. Steinn Sigurdsson (Penn State University)
Title:  "Imaging Planets"

I'll discuss the theoretical motivations and preliminary results of an imaging survey for nearby extrasolar planets. I will discuss some speculations upon other issues for planet searches.

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