KICP Seminars & Colloquia, Current and Future
Upcoming Seminars

Seminar schedule for Current (Spring 2019) & Future Quarters
April 3, 2019
Astronomy Colloquium
Sean Raymond
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux, France
Why doesn't the Solar System have close-in super-Earths?   [Abstract]
April 5, 2019
Friday noon seminar
Maximiliano Isi
MIT
Fundamental physics with gravitational waves
April 10, 2019
Astronomy Colloquium
Sara Seager
MIT
The Search for Biosignature Gases on Exoplanets   [Abstract]
April 12, 2019
Friday noon seminar
Katerina Chatziioannou
Flatiron Institute
TBA   [Abstract]
April 26, 2019
Friday noon seminar
Junhan Kim
University of Arizona
TBA   [Abstract]
May 1, 2019
Astronomy Colloquium
Dara Norman
TBA
May 15, 2019
Astronomy Colloquium
Rob Kennicutt
TBA
May 24, 2019
Friday noon seminar
Caroline D Huang
Johns Hopkins University
The Mira Distance Ladder
May 29, 2019
Astronomy Colloquium
Ian Crossfield
TBA
 
COLLOQUIA
KICP Colloquia and Astronomy & Astrophysics Colloquia: Unless otherwise noted, all talks are held in ERC 161 at 3:30 PM on Wednesdays. A reception will be held following the talk in the ERC 401 (KICP Colloquia) and in Hubble Lounge (ERC 501) (Astronomy & Astrophysics Colloquia).

  • April 3, 2019 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161 | Astronomy Colloquium
    Why doesn't the Solar System have close-in super-Earths?
    Sean Raymond, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux, France

    Note: Refreshments served at 4:30 PM, Hubble Lounge

    Jupiter is the only planet in our system that would be detectable if the Sun were observed from afar with current instruments. Its wide, near-circular orbit makes it a ~10% rarity among known giant exoplanets and the Solar System a ~1% rarity among Sun-like stars. Another oddity of the Solar System is the absence of close-in super-Earths, which are found around a significant fraction (~50%) of main sequence stars. Models for the origin of close-in super-Earths can match the distributions of observed systems, although the compositions of super-Earths (icy vs rocky) are a key constraint. However, models are generally too efficient, and cannot explain systems like ours without super-Earths. Jupiter's growth may provide an answer. If Jupiter's core formed quickly, it would have blocked the flux of small `pebbles' drifting inward through the disk and starved the terrestrial planets' building blocks. Once Jupiter was fully-grown it opened a gap in the Sun's protoplanetary disk and may have blocked the inward migration of larger cores, protecting the inner Solar System from icy invaders than instead formed the ice giants and Saturn's core. These ideas remain incomplete but have the promise to explain how the Solar System fits in the larger context.
  • April 10, 2019 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161 | Astronomy Colloquium
    The Search for Biosignature Gases on Exoplanets
    Sara Seager, MIT

    Note: Refreshments served at 4:30 PM, Hubble Lounge

    Thousands of exoplanets are known to orbit nearby stars and small rocky planets are established to be common. The ambitious goal of identifying a habitable or inhabited world is within reach. But how likely are we to succeed? We need to first discover a pool of planets in their host star's "extended" habitable zone and second observe their atmospheres in detail to identify the presence of water vapor, a requirement for all life as we know it. Life must not only exist on one of those planets, but the life must produce "biosignature gases" that are spectroscopically active, and we need to be able to sort through a growing list of false-positive scenarios with what is likely to be limited data. The race to find habitable exoplanets has accelerated with the realization that "big Earths" transiting small stars can be both discovered and characterized with current technology, such that the James Webb Space Telescope has a chance to be the first to provide evidence of biosignature gases. Transiting exoplanets require a fortuitous alignment and the fast-track approach is therefore only the first step in a long journey. The next step is sophisticated starlight suppression techniques for large ground-and space-based based telescopes to observe small exoplanets directly. These ideas will lead us down a path to where future generations will implement very large space-based telescopes to search thousands of all types of stars for hundreds of Earths to find signs of life amidst a yet unknown range of planetary environments. What will it take to identify such habitable worlds with the observations and theoretical tools available to us?
  • May 1, 2019 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161 | Astronomy Colloquium
    TBA
    Dara Norman,

    Note: Refreshments served at 4:30 PM, Hubble Lounge
  • May 15, 2019 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161 | Astronomy Colloquium
    TBA
    Rob Kennicutt,

    Note: Refreshments served at 4:30 PM, Hubble Lounge
  • May 29, 2019 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161 | Astronomy Colloquium
    TBA
    Ian Crossfield,

    Note: Refreshments served at 4:30 PM, Hubble Lounge

 
FRIDAY NOON SEMINARS
KICP Friday noon seminar: Unless otherwise noted, all talks are held in ERC 401 at Noon on Fridays.

  • April 5, 2019 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401 | Friday noon seminar
    Fundamental physics with gravitational waves
    Maximiliano Isi, MIT
  • April 12, 2019 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401 | Friday noon seminar
    TBA
    Katerina Chatziioannou, Flatiron Institute

    TBA
  • April 26, 2019 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401 | Friday noon seminar
    TBA
    Junhan Kim, University of Arizona

    TBA
  • May 24, 2019 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401 | Friday noon seminar
    The Mira Distance Ladder
    Caroline D Huang, Johns Hopkins University

 
SPECIAL SEMINARS


 
OPEN GROUP SEMINARS


 
THURSDAY LUNCH DISCUSSIONS
KICP's Thunch: KICP Cosmology Lunch (Thunch) Weekly on Thursdays, Noon, ERC 401A.

Please join us for an informal lunch discussion, led by KICP fellows, of recent news and papers in cosmology. Topics range from experiment and observations to theory in all areas of KICP science. To submit or view papers for this week's Thunch please visit the Thunch website.


 
ASTRONOMY TUESDAY SEMINARS


 
ASTRONOMY SPECIAL SEMINARS