Meeting of Astrophysics Students at Stanford (MASS)

Time and location TBD.

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MASS is a forum for graduate students in astronomy and astrophysics to discuss important ideas which nevertheless tend to be absent from classes, colloquia, and tea talks. It is intended to provide a crash course in the theoretical, observational, and experimental aspects of many areas of astrophysics and an informal setting in which to discuss our own work. Undergrads and non-astro types are welcome to join. Postdocs and faculty are also welcome; however, the content of the meetings will be aimed at students who are learning the methods of astronomy and astrophysics for the first time.

Event Horizon Telescope

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Warren Morningstar

The Event Horizon Telescope is a network of roughly ten telescopes spanning nearly the entire earth.  By operating the telescope as an interferometer, the EHT is able to image with roughly ten microarcsecond resolution.  This puts it in a position to view the event horizons of two black holes, Messier 87, and Sagitarius A*, the black hole in the center of our own galaxy.  But they do not just take a simple photograph of the event horizon with a big camera.  Oh no, t

Blended galaxies in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Ismael Serrano

The next generation of dark-energy imaging surveys – so called “Stage-IV” surveys, such as that of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) – will cross a threshold in  the  number  density  of  detected  galaxies  on  the  sky  that  requires  qualitatively  different image analysis and measurement techniques compared to the current generation of Stage-III surveys.

GRB 170817A (and GW170817): Lessons from a binary neutron star merger

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Ben Garber

On August 17, 2017, a LIGO/VIRGO gravitational wave event and a Fermi Gamma Ray Burst Monitor (GBM) trigger occurred two seconds apart. The near-simultaneous observation of a short gamma ray burst and gravitational waves from a binary neutron star merger place strong limits on cosmological gravity and teach us new things about gamma ray and neutron star astrophysics. In this practice qual talk, I will explain the instrumentation of Fermi-GBM, give a description of GW/EM170817, and talk about its implications.

Dark photon search

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Andrew Eberhardt

Dark matter is an integral and mysterious part of the universe which motivates a large set of diverse and interesting models. So here's another one: dark photons. I will discuss what is meant by the phrase dark photons and why we once thought they would be a promising dark matter candidate. I will go over the types of experiments we use to investigate this model and the existing bounds we have constructed.

Experimental Challenges to Infrared Astronomy

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Adam Snyder

Visible-light astronomy is by far the oldest branch of astronomy, beginning with simple star gazing and culminating with telescopes such as the Dark Energy Survey, Hubble Space Telescope and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.  However modern day astronomy is not limited to observations in only the visible light spectrum.  In this talk I will present the growing field of infrared astronomy and a number of experimental challenges that project

Turbulence

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Alex Madurowicz

As physicists, when we arrive at a differential equation, the hard part of the problem is essentially over. We simply look up the form of the solution and apply the boundary condit-- wait. The mathematicians haven’t figured this one out yet? It is a famous open problem in mathematics to disprove that smooth and bounded solutions to the Naiver-Stokes equation in three dimensions even exist.

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