Talks & Events
Astronomy Colloquia: 2005
Pulsar Timing Array: Probing the Nanohertz Gravitational Wave Background
Don Backer, University of California, Berkeley
New Insights into Quasar Wind Structure
Sarah Gallagher, University of California, Los Angeles
Seismology of Accreting White Dwarfs
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
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
Tom Vestrand, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Super Flare from SGR 1806-20
Kevin Hurley, University of California, Berkeley