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.

The Final Parsec Problem

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Andrew Eberhardt

Numerical simulations and calculations are creating an increasingly complete picture of the universe. We think we have a good idea of the content of galaxies and the mechanisms that form them. Given that we expect galaxies to form from hierarchical mergers and that most galaxies have SMBHs at their cores we may be interested in the dynamics of the SMBHs following merging.

The Sunyaev–Zeldovich Effect

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Sebastian Wagner-Carena

When we talk about the science we can extract from the CMB, we often focus on the the imprint of the standard lambda CDM parameters on the power spectrum. However, as these CMB photons have carved a path through the universe, they’ve picked up subtle imprints of the clusters of galaxies in their path. Two of these effects – thermal and kinetic Sunyaev–Zeldovich effects – offer probes of the universe’s largest scale structure all the way to the time when the CMB was first formed.

Gai-yeah!

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Sean McLaughlin

Gaia is a revolutionary instrument that has given us positions and proper motions of local stars to precisions that are frankly ridiculous. One especially exciting application of this data for the cosmologically inclined amongst us is a deeper understanding of the  substructure in the Milky Way.

Line-intensity mapping with the CO Mapping Array Pathfinder

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Dongwoo Chung

Line-intensity mapping—the observation of aggregate emission in various atomic and molecular spectral lines—is an emerging technique with tremendous potential to shed light on how the first stars and galaxies formed, as well as on subsequent early-universe star formation and galaxy formation.

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.