Update on Benecchi Presentations
Susan Benecchi had difficulty in reaching Nebraska due to the weather. Her colloquium in the Department of Physics & Astronomy was postponed a day and will occur Friday, April 19 at 4:00 pm in Jorgensen 110. Her public talk will go on as originally scheduled in the Student Union Auditorium at 7:00 pm.
Note that there is now a pull-down menu in our main navigation bar entitled Video reflecting a number of improvements. Although almost all videos are still available for download as .mp4 files, the main thrust of our offerings are now on YouTube. There is a YouTube Channel entitled UNL Astronomy with 3 playlists: AU Astronomy Videos, UNL Guest Lectures, and UATP Presentations. All videos are presented as embedded YouTube videos (our demonstration video on convection is shown as an example of this below).
Unfortunately, this reorganization has caused the URLs of most videos to change. The present organizational structure is unlikely to need any further restructuring in the foreseeable future.
Presentations by Susan Benecchi in April
Susan is a postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the Planetary Science Institute. Her research focuses on the outer solar system.
Solar System Archaeology: What we Learn from Small Bodies in our Solar SystemDepartment of Physics & Astronomy Colloquium -- Thursday, April 18, 4:00 pm, Jorgensen 136
Abstract: Since the discovery of the first Kuiper Belt object (KBO) in 1992 these objects have become key components to understanding the outer regions of our Solar System. Observations of both the dynamical and surface properties of these objects provide insight to the migration history of the giant planets. I will discuss various observational strategies for discovering and dynamically classifying KBOs and summarize our current understanding of the overall structure of the belt. Additionally, I will present the results from a compilation of studies on the colors (photometric properties), lightcurves and binary properties of sizable samples of KBOs in a variety of locations within the belt. Links between the dynamical and photometric properties of these objects may help to distinguish between various source populations and the range of conditions present in the protoplanetary disk. (flyer)
The New Horizons Mission: Pluto and BeyondFree Public Talk -- Friday, April 19, 7:00 pm, Union Auditorium
Abstract: The outermost region of the Solar System has yet to be explored by spacecraft. Pluto sits inside of the Kuiper Belt, a region of icy objects in the outer solar system that we believe is a relic of the Solar System's formation and evolution. The New Horizons (NH) spacecraft launched in January 2006, and will fly through the Pluto system in July 2015. We hope to visit a Kuiper Belt Object (yet to be identified) afterward, in the 2018-2020 timeframe. Since launch an additional four moons have been discovered orbiting Pluto. Instruments on the spacecraft will study the surfaces of Pluto and Charon with optical broadband and multicolor images to resolutions of a few hundred meters, as well as near-infrared spectral maps with a few kilometer resolution sensitive to volatiles such as water ice, methane ice and ammonia. We will also collect UV spectra and particle data sensitive to active volatile loss. I will present an overview of what we know about the Pluto system currently, the goals of the NH mission and our efforts to find a Kuiper Belt Object to visit after the Pluto system encounter. (flyer)
Upcoming Astronomy Presentations
Astronomy visitors to UNL and the dates of their anticipated presentations are provided below. Please check back for more information as the dates approach.
- Susan Benecchi – Carnegie Institution of Washington
- April 18 4:00 pm Physics Department Colloquium
- April 19 Evening Public Talk
- Beth Willman – Haverford College
- October 25 Evening Ruckman Public Talk
- October 26 Keynote Address, 2013 Astronomy Education Workshop/N-AAPT Fall Meeting
Astronomy Students Participate in Women in Science
Every February around 100 juniors from high schools around Nebraska visit UNL to be exposed to potential careers in science. The Friday/Saturday event consists of a science fair of demonstration booths followed by a dinner and speaker Friday evening. The astronomy booth presented demoes centered on our infrared camera, the physics of music (singing aluminum rods and boomwhackers), and laptops with astronomy simulations. From right to left, Astronomy Major Samantha Cajka, Astronomy Major Marina Bradaric, and (most of) Education Major and Astronomy TA Sasha Shomshor are visible in the picture below from the dinner.
Astronomy Education group participation in the event also included a planned student observatory open house Friday evening (it was quite cloudy) and a Saturday morning presentation on http://astro.unl.edu project pedagogy to teachers and parents accompanying the students.
- Update on Benecchi Presentations
- Video Update
- Presentations by Susan Benecchi in April
- Upcoming Astronomy Presentations
- Astronomy Students Participate in Women in Science
- Blog Up and Running
- Astronomy Majors lead Workshop for Middle School Teachers
- Registration Open for Fall Astronomy Education Workshop
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