Seminars and Colloquia at ESO Garching

For ESO and ESO-related Conferences and Workshops in Europe and Chile please check the main Conferences and Workshops page.

April 2014

08.04.14 (Tuesday)
10:00, ESO room "Tucana", Star and Planet Formation Seminar
"Shockingly low water abundances in Herschel / PACS observations of low-mass protostars in Perseus"
Agata Karska (MPE)
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"Shockingly low water abundances in Herschel / PACS observations of low-mass protostars in Perseus"

Agata Karska (MPE)

Abstract
Shocks produced in the outflows from young protostars strongly influence the process of star formation, yet are not well quantified. Recent far-infrared observations of molecules with Herschel offer a unique opportunity to constrain the shock parameters, such as a type of shock (continuous / jump), shock velocity and pre-shock density of envelope material. However, various authors found very different shock characteristics towards a few low-mass protostars studied so far. Here, I will present a survey of a large (~20 objects) and uniform (same distance, age, environment) sample of protostars located in Perseus Molecular Cloud observed as a part of the "William Herschel Line Legacy" program. Our analysis of different molecular line ratios shows that the currently available shock models cannot explain all the observations. The water abundances are too high, indicating that additional physical processes need to be included in the models.
12:30, ESO auditorium "Telescopium", Lunch Talk
"XXL: the ultimate XMM extragalactic survey"
Marguerite Pierre (Service d'Astrophysique, CEA Saclay)
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"XXL: the ultimate XMM extragalactic survey"

Marguerite Pierre (Service d'Astrophysique, CEA Saclay)

Abstract
At the end of 2010, a Very Large XMM programme - the XXL survey - was granted in order to map two regions of 25 deg2 each at medium sensitivity. This will lead to the detection of several hundreds of clusters of galaxies and of some 30 000 AGNs with well defined selection functions. Since 2012, an ESO Large Programme is performing the spectroscopic identification of the galaxy clusters. After reviewing the scientific motivations, we describe the some 540 XMM observations, the associated multi-wavelength follow-up and simulation programmes. We especially underline the cosmological goals of the project involving cluster number counts, large-scale studies with clusters and AGNs as well as the systematic search for very distant clusters in a multi-lambda space. This will be the occasion to review in some detail the still hotly debated question of the proper use of clusters of galaxies for cosmology, as recently revived by the tension between the cosmological constraints from the Planck CMB and the Planck clusters. We describe a new method for the cosmological analysis of cluster surveys that bypasses the traditional mass calculation step. We present the first scientific results.
09.04.14 (Wednesday)
16:30, Cluster building, Boltzmannstr. 2, Universe Colloquium
"Answers in the light: High-resolution spectra and type Ia supernovae progenitors"
Assaf Sternberg (TUM)
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"Answers in the light: High-resolution spectra and type Ia supernovae progenitors"

Assaf Sternberg (TUM)

Abstract
A Type Ia supernovae is the very luminous thermonuclear explosion of a carbon-oxygen white-dwarf in a close binary system. Despite numerous studies, the nature of the companion star remains uncertain and under much debate. A main discriminant between the progenitor models that have been proposed is the predicted circumstellar environment in which the white-dwarf explodes. Therefore, studying the circumstellar environment of Type Ia supernovae can help us validate which progenitor channel, or channels, can lead to these brilliant events. High-resolution spectroscopy is currently the most promising method with which one can probe the circumstellar material around a Type Ia supernova, while using the supernova as back-light. This talk will present an overview of the high-spectral-resolution studies that have been performed in recent years, what we have learned from them, and what we can do in the future to get us closer to solving the long standing progenitor mystery.
10.04.14 (Thursday)
16:15, ESO auditorium "Telescopium", Munich Joint Astronomy Colloquium
"Future prospects of the cosmic noon: mapping and resolving galaxy formation at its peak epoch"
Taddy Kodama (NAOJ, Subaru Telescope)
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"Future prospects of the cosmic noon: mapping and resolving galaxy formation at its peak epoch"

Taddy Kodama (NAOJ, Subaru Telescope)

Abstract
Our Mahalo-Subaru project has been mapping out star forming activities at 0.4<z<3.3 covering the peak epoch of galaxy formation, and across various environments. It employs a unique set of narrow-band filters on MOIRCS/Subaru to search for Ha emitters associated to the proto-clusters or in narrow redshift slices in the general field. We have shown not only filamentary/clumpy structures of all the proto-clusters but also a very rapid rise in star formation activities with the lookback time. We also show that the mode of star formation in dense environment is more burst-like and dusty compared to that in the field, due probably to galaxy-galaxy interactions. HST images from the CANDELS survey have revealed that nearly half of the Ha emitters in the field at z~2 have clumpy structures, and among them "red dusty clumps" are preferentially found near or at the mass center of galaxies. They are probably linked to bulge formation and therefore this process is expected to depend on environment.

I will also present prospects from other on-going/future major programs using a wide range of facilities from optical to (sub)mm to increase samples and investigate in more detail the physics and mode of star formation.
16.04.14 (Wednesday)
16:30, TUM Institute for Advanced Study, Lichtenbergstr. 2a, Universe Colloquium
"Quantum Universe: Theory and Observations"
Viatcheslav Mukhanov (LMU)
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"Quantum Universe: Theory and Observations"

Viatcheslav Mukhanov (LMU)

Abstract
In March 2014 Harvard astronomers announced the detection of primordial gravitational waves with the telescope of the BICEP2 collaboration at the South Pole. They studied the polarization properties of the cosmic microwave background radiation which showed imprints of so-called B modes, relics of gravitational waves of the inflationary phase of the Universe. One of the world experts in the field of inflation theories and Principal Investigator at the Excellence Cluster Universe, Viatcheslav Mukhanov (LMU), will present the significance of these findings for theoretical cosmology.
22.04.14 (Tuesday)
12:30, ESO room "Fornax", Lunch Talk
"(topic t.b.a.)"
Richard Bower (Durham University)
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"(topic t.b.a.)"

Richard Bower (Durham University)

Abstract
(available soon)
23.04.14 (Wednesday)
16:30, Cluster building, Boltzmannstr. 2, Universe Colloquium
"The safest routes to islands Beyond the Standard Model"
Francesco Riva (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne)
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"The safest routes to islands Beyond the Standard Model"

Francesco Riva (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne)

Abstract
In the absence of direct discoveries, physics Beyond the Standard Model (BSM) can be parametrized by an effective field theory as an expansion in inverse powers of the New Physics scale. This expansion serves as a guide for precision searches. In fact, the leading term in this expansion coincides with the standard model: its symmetries and relations are well known and are being tested at colliders. In this talk Francesco will discuss the next order in the expansion, that parametrize the largest effects that can be expected from physics BSM. He will show that many relations persist, implying that not all the observables that we experimentally test are independent. For example, deviations in the differential distribution of h->Vff decays, are correlated with deformations of the couplings of vectors to fermions, that are already well measured at LEP at CERN.
24.04.14 (Thursday)
16:15, ESO auditorium "Telescopium", Munich Joint Astronomy Colloquium
"Archaeology of Exo-Terrestrial Planetary Systems"
Jay Farihi
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"Archaeology of Exo-Terrestrial Planetary Systems"

Jay Farihi

Abstract
We now stand firmly in the era of solid exoplanet detection via Kepler and other state of the art facilities. Yet the empirical characterization of these most intriguing planets is extremely challenging. Transit plus radial velocity information can yield planet mass and radius, and hence planet density, but the bulk composition remains degenerate and completely model-dependent. Currently, the abundances of a handful of exoplanet atmospheres can be estimated from transit spectroscopy, or observed directly via spectroscopy, but probing only the most tenuous outer layers of those planets.

Fortunately, as demonstrated by Spitzer and complementary ground-based observations, debris disk-polluted white dwarfs can yield highly accurate information on the chemical structure of rocky minor planets (i.e. exo-asteroids), the building blocks of solid exoplanets. The white dwarf distills the planetary fragments, and provides powerful insight into the mass and chemical structure of the parent body.

This archaeological method provides empirical data on the assembly and chemistry of exo-terrestrial planets that is unavailable for any planetary system orbiting a main-sequence star. In the Solar System, the asteroids (or minor planets) are leftover building blocks of the terrestrial planets, and we obtain their compositions - and hence that of the terrestrial planets - by studying meteorites. Similarly, one can infer the composition of exo-terrestrial planets by studying tidally destroyed and accreted asteroids at polluted white dwarfs.

I will present ongoing, state of the art results using this unconventional technique, including the recent detection of terrestrial-like debris in the Hyades star cluster, as well as the detection of water-rich planetesimals that may represent the building blocks of habitable exoplanets.
29.04.14 (Tuesday)
12:30, ESO room "Fornax", Lunch Talk
"(topic t.b.a.)"
Antonio Hernan-Caballero (Instituto de Fisica de Cantabria, Spain)
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"(topic t.b.a.)"

Antonio Hernan-Caballero (Instituto de Fisica de Cantabria, Spain)

Abstract
(available soon)

May 2014

08.05.14 (Thursday)
16:15, ESO auditorium "Telescopium", Munich Joint Astronomy Colloquium
"(topic t.b.a.)"
Omer Blaes
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"(topic t.b.a.)"

Omer Blaes

Abstract
(available soon)
13.05.14 (Tuesday)
12:30, ESO room "Fornax", Lunch Talk
"The Hot Horizontal Branch Stars in NGC 288 - Confusion, Diffusion and Why You should never Give Up!"
Sabine Moehler (ESO)
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"The Hot Horizontal Branch Stars in NGC 288 - Confusion, Diffusion and Why You should never Give Up!"

Sabine Moehler (ESO)

Abstract
In my talk I will present the analysis of medium-resolution spectra of hot horizontal branch stars in the metal-poor globular cluster NGC 288. Equally important I will describe the pitfalls we encountered before arriving at our final results. In order not to spoil the talk no further details are given here.
15.05.14 (Thursday)
16:15, ESO auditorium "Telescopium", Munich Joint Astronomy Colloquium
"(topic t.b.a.)"
George Chartas
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"(topic t.b.a.)"

George Chartas

Abstract
(available soon)
20.05.14 (Tuesday)
12:30, ESO auditorium "Telescopium", Lunch Talk
"(topic t.b.a.)"
Sebastien Muller (Onsala)
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"(topic t.b.a.)"

Sebastien Muller (Onsala)

Abstract
(available soon)
22.05.14 (Thursday)
16:15, ESO auditorium "Telescopium", Munich Joint Astronomy Colloquium
"(topic t.b.a.)"
Pierre Kervella (LESIA, Observatoire de Paris)
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"(topic t.b.a.)"

Pierre Kervella (LESIA, Observatoire de Paris)

Abstract
(available soon)
27.05.14 (Tuesday)
12:30, ESO room "Fornax", Lunch Talk
"The astrophysics of the PLATO space mission"
Malcolm Fridlund (DLR)
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"The astrophysics of the PLATO space mission"

Malcolm Fridlund (DLR)

Abstract
(available soon)

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