Astronomy Colloquia: 2005
DateTalk TitleSpeaker
March 2, 2005Pulsar Timing Array: Probing the Nanohertz Gravitational Wave BackgroundDon Backer, University of California, Berkeley
March 16, 2005New Insights into Quasar Wind StructureSarah Gallagher, University of California, Los Angeles
March 30, 2005Seismology of Accreting White DwarfsPhil Arras, University of California, Santa Barbara
April 13, 2005A Tour in the Neutron Star ZooRosalba Perna, University of Colorado
April 27, 2005Raptor Observations of GRBs and Data MiningTom Vestrand, Los Alamos National Laboratory
May 11, 2005Super Flare from SGR 1806-20Kevin Hurley, University of California, Berkeley
July 10, 2005Acceleration of Cosmic Rays in Supernova RemnantsRyo Yamazaki, Osaka University

Pulsar Timing Array: Probing the Nanohertz Gravitational Wave Background
March 2, 2005 | RI 480 | 3:30 PM
Don Backer, University of California, Berkeley

New Insights into Quasar Wind Structure
March 16, 2005 | RI 480 | 3:30 PM | Host: John E. Carlstrom
Sarah Gallagher, University of California, Los Angeles

Seismology of Accreting White Dwarfs
March 30, 2005 | RI 480 | 3:30 PM
Phil Arras, University of California, Santa Barbara

Pulsation modes have recently been observed in a handful of white dwarf primaries of Cataclysmic Variables, allowing an interesting new probe into the structure of accreting white dwarfs. I will briefly discuss the seismology of these objects, how stellar properties may be inferred from the observed mode frequencies, and new work on mode driving mechanisms.

A Tour in the Neutron Star Zoo
April 13, 2005 | RI 480 | 3:30 PM
Rosalba Perna, University of Colorado

Neutron stars are the most common end state of stars, and hundreds of millions of them populate the Galaxy. Despite the fact that several of their properties, such as their mass and composition, vary over relatively narrow ranges, neutron stars give rise to a bewildering zoo of observational properties. In this talk, I will review the main characteristics of the various classes of neutron stars, highlighting differences and connections, and the extent to which these are due to intrinsic versus environmental properties. In particular, I will focus on the origin of the quiescent X-ray emission in Anomalous X-ray pulsars and Soft Gamma-Ray repeaters, the relation between jets in radio pulsars and their anomalous braking indices, and the ultimate fate of the large number of old, isolated neutron stars in the Galaxy. I will finally show how the statistical properties of radio pulsars associated with giant HI supershells can be used to constrain neutron stars birth parameters, and hence better understand the physics of supernova explosions.

Raptor Observations of GRBs and Data Mining
April 27, 2005 | RI 480 | 3:30 PM
Tom Vestrand, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Super Flare from SGR 1806-20
May 11, 2005 | RI 480 | 3:30 PM
Kevin Hurley, University of California, Berkeley

Acceleration of Cosmic Rays in Supernova Remnants
July 10, 2005 | RI 480 | 3:30 PM
Ryo Yamazaki, Osaka University