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UCSD/CASS Astrophysics Seminars


The UCSD/CASS Astrophysics Seminar features world-class astrophysicists from around the world speaking on current topics of research. Presentations are aimed at the graduate and post-graduate level, but are open to the general public. This fall, we will be returning to largely in-person presentations in SERF 383 with some virtual talks. We will be retaining hybrid participation (i.e., it will be possible to view the talks through Zoom). All talks are scheduled on Wednesdays from 3-4pm unless otherwise noted.

We welcome your suggestions for speakers this year. Please fill out the Google form linked below to submit your recommendations:

The seminar organizers this year are Adam Burgasser, George Fuller, and Christopher Theissen at UCSD and Douglas Leonard at SDSU

Upcoming Seminars

All seminars will be viewable remotely via Zoom at the following link (updated Jan 2023):

April 12, 2023

 ERS observations of the Jovian System as a demonstration of JWST’s capabilities for Solar System science
Imke de Pater

Professor of Astronomy
UC Berkeley
Host: Pat Diamond

 Abstract: JWST Early Release Science data of the Jovian system explore the planet’s atmosphere, its major and minor satellites and faint ring system. I will discuss the scientific rationale for and preliminary results of our observations.

• Jupiter has been observed for centuries and has been visited by several spacecraft. What secrets can JWST still reveal?

• Ganymede, the largest satellite in our Solar System, is composed of a molten core, a silicate mantle, and complex crust overlying a liquid water layer. Most intriguing, it has an intrinsic magnetic field. What can we learn from JWST about Ganymede’s crust and atmosphere?

• Io is the most volcanically-active body in our Solar System. What can JWST reveal us about Io’s surface and the way volcanoes may affect its atmosphere?

• The fine dust particles of the Jovian ring have a limited lifetime – perhaps years – due to solar radiation pressure and electromagnetic forces, and hence require a continuous supply of dust. What can JWST tell us about the rings and small moons?

For each topic I will briefly discuss some background, show preliminary results, highlight complementary observations taken with other telescopes (in particular with ALMA), and discuss some challenges we face working with our JWST data.

Relevant papers

de Pater et al. (2021, Ann. Rev. Earth and Planetary Sciences, 49, 643): "A 2020 Observational Perspective of Io"

Moeckel, de Pater, & DeBoer (2023, PSJ 4, 25): "Ammonia Abundance Derived from Juno MWR and VLA Observations of Jupiter"

May 17, 2023

Ilaria Caiazzo

Burke Prize Postdoctoral Fellow
Host: Adam Burgasser

 Abstract: TBD

May 24, 2023

Robyn Sanderson

Assistant Professor
University of Pennsylvania

 Abstract: TBD