Geology After Pluto

Jeff Moore is the lead of the New Horizons Geology Team. He will talk about the discoveries made by the New Horizons mission on the fascinating fly by of the dwarf planet Pluto.


Exoplanets spectroscopy with diffraction primary objective telescopes

When diffraction is employed as the primary collector modality of a telescope instead of reflection or refraction, a new set of performance capabilities emerges. A diffraction-based telescope forms a spectrogram first and an image as secondary data. The results are startling. In multiple object capability, the diffraction telescope on earth can capture 2 million spectra to R > 100,000 in a single night, better for a census of exoplanets by radial velocity than any prior art.

Observing the re-entry of space debris WT1190F

Dr. Jenniskens will describe the airborne observations he took part in of the re-entry of space debris on Nov 13, 2015.

Life in the Universe — the Breakthrough Initiatives

On July 20, 2015, the 46th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced in London, UK a new initiative to study life in the universe.  The announcement was made by Silicon Valley billionaire Yuri Milner and physicist Steven Hawking.  The Breakthrough Initiatives currently consist of two primary elements, Breakthrough Listen which is a $100M renewed search for intelligent extraterrestrial signals, and Breakthrough Message, a global competition with a $1M prize to create, but not sent a message representing humanity.  S.

Finding Amazing Structures Hidden in Big, Complex, Dense, Raw Data

Mr Marvin Weinstein consults on the application of Dynamic Quantum Clustering (DQC) to exploring and analyzing big, complex datasets. The goal is to reveal and understand unexpected hidden information without modeling the data or engaging in complex statistical analyses.


High Temperature Volcanism on Earth: Physical Volcanology, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry of Archean Komatiites

Komatiites are magnesium-rich magmas characterized by very high temperature (up to 1640°C vs. ~1200°C for modern basalts), very low viscosity (0.1-1 Pa·s), and a very large interval (460-160°C) between liquidus and solidus. As a consequence, they formed highly mobile flows capable of flowing long distances over gentle slopes that - if channelized - thermally and thermomechanically eroded wallrocks and substrates. This led to the formation of some of the world’s richest nickel-copper-platinum group element deposits.

Pinpointing the Search for Life in Ancient Martian Hot Springs

The recent explosion of Martian surface data is set to revolutionize the way we explore that planet. Until now, mission science has had to catch up with the imposed engineering constraints. With this data, we can plan exciting new missions to specific locations with enough precision to allow engineers to get us there safely. One of the most appealing uses of this methodology is the search for evidence that life once existed on Mars. Here we discuss the developing effort to send a mission to search for life in an ancient hot spring deposit.

Power laws, predictable evolution, and the limits of life

A central question in understanding the possibilities for life in the universe is what fundamental constraints and tradeoffs organize evolution. In this talk Dr. Kempes will discuss how power-laws in biology highlight common underlying constraints––often basic physical laws––across the diversity of life on our planet. He will then describe how work that we have done shows how these relationships can be derived and used to predict or interpret a range of phenomena including major evolutionary tradeoffs and ecological response. Specifically, Dr.

Checking on the Neighbors: Searching for Planets around Alpha Centauri

The alpha Centauri system - our next door neighbor in space - represents a very attractive target for exoplanet searches. Owing to its proximity, a planet found around any of the three stars in the system would be an ideal target for detailed follow-up studies with next generation ground- and space-based telescopes. In this talk Dr Endl will review past and current planet search efforts that targeted the alpha Centauri system. He will focus on his team's program, an intensive multi-year observing campaign carried out at Mt John University Observatory in New Zealand.

Are Old Galaxies Really Red and Dead?

Galaxies are broadly divided into two classes: spiral and elliptical. Unlike the spirals, the ellipticals, often referred to as early-type galaxies, are largely composed of old stars that give them a reddish color, They typically have little interstellar material with which to form new stars; these galaxies are often referred to as “red and dead.” We will see, however, that a substantial fraction of these galaxies contain surprising amounts of neutral hydrogen and these do form stars, albeit at a reduced rate compared to their spiral cousins.


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