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Astrophysics Seminars


The 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. CASS seminars take place on Wednesdays from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. in 383 SERF (Marlar Seminar Room), unless otherwise noted. You can watch a live stream of the talk or prior talks at the CASS Seminar YouTube Channel. The organizers are Prof. Shelley Wright and Prof. George Fuller.

Upcoming Seminars

Spring 2018

May 23, 2018

 "Cooler than Gaia: Parallaxes of Ultracool Objects with WISE"

Christopher Theissen
Postdoctoral Scholar

 Trigonometric parallaxes are one of the most fundamental measurements astronomers can make, providing a wealth of information about our Galaxy and its constituents. These measurements are also crucial for calibrating the distance ladder and our ability to measure distances to extragalactic sources. The imminent release of over one billion parallaxes from the Gaia satellite will revolutionize our understanding of the Milky Way. That being said, Gaia will be limited in its ability to observe the lowest mass, coolest stars and brown dwarfs in our Galaxy. I will discuss the potential to use the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) to measure relatively precise parallaxes of nearby, very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, exceeding the limits of Gaia. I will show recent results using this method, and illustrate the importance in precise distances for measuring the fundamental parameters of stars and brown dwarfs. I will also discuss future directions on improving this method for even cooler (and fainter) objects.

May 30, 2018

Ruth Murray-Clay
UC Santa Cruz