2021 ngVLA Summer Short Talk Series
The next-generation Very Large Array Science Advisory Council (SAC) is organizing a cycle of weekly short online talks over the summer that focus on timely open science questions. Talks are scheduled to be 20-25 min, with another 15-20 min reserved for questions from the audience.
The goal of the series is to draw a contingent of early-career researchers and students who are interested in open astronomy problems by facilitating discussions on topics that are particularly important and/or timely covering a broad range of astronomy research areas, while also drawing connections to a present or future facilities (e.g., ALMA, JWST, SKA, ngVLA, the ELTs, LSST/Rubin, or a proposed NASA observatory).
The talks will be held online via Zoom Thursdays at 2 pm EDT and recorded/archived (along with the Q&A sessions) here for broader viewing. We ask that you please use the link below to register for the entire series (it is free!) so that you receive all necessary Zoom connection information.
|6/24/2021||Jonathan Tan (UVa / Chalmers University)||Open Questions in Massive Star and Cluster Formation||
|7/01/2021||No Talk -- 4th of July Holiday|
|7/08/2021||Susanne Aalto (Chalmers University)||Thick As Thieves! – What Is Hiding Inside the Most Compact and Obscured Galaxy Nuclei?||
|7/15/2021||Jill Tarter (SETI)||
When Is The Evidence Sufficient To Claim The Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life?
|7/22/2021||Paola Caselli (Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics)||From clouds to planets: the astrochemical link||All ingredients to make stars like our Sun and planets like our Earth are present in dense cold interstellar clouds. In these "stellar-system precursors" an active chemistry is already at work, as demonstrated by the presence of a rich variety of organic molecules in the gas phase and icy mantles encapsulating the sub-micrometer dust grains, the building blocks of planets. Here, I’ll present a journey from the earliest phases of star formation to protoplanetary disks, with links to our Solar System, highlighting the crucial role of astrochemistry as powerful diagnostic tool of the various steps present in the journey. The fundamental role of present and future facilities to make this connection possible will also be highlighted.|
|7/29/2021||Ryan Loomis (NRAO)||Complex Chemistry During Planet Formation||The chemical composition of nascent planets is set by the molecular inventories of the dust and gas rich protoplanetary disks in which they form. Understanding these environments is therefore crucial to predicting potential habitability, as well as uncovering the origin of Earth's organic reservoir. Recent gains in the sensitivity and resolution of (sub)mm observations have revolutionized our understanding of disk chemistry, enabling the detection of complex species and potential prebiotic precursors such as HC3N, CH3CN, CH3OH, and HCOOH. Major challenges remain, however, including how to connect ALMA observations of gas-phase disk organics with the bulk icy midplane reservoir responsible for comet and planet formation. Such extrapolations require both (1) complete disk molecular inventories and (2) detailed characterization of molecular abundance distributions.
In this talk I discuss recent observational progress toward these two goals, highlighting results from the ALMA large program MAPS (Molecules At Planet-forming Scales). In particular, I focus on the role that lower frequency observations (ALMA Band 3 and below) are playing in rapidly advancing our understanding of complex chemistry in disks. Building on these results, I show how future observations with the ngVLA will play a critical role in unlocking the chemical composition of the disk midplane.
|8/05/2021||Michael Kramer (Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy)||Finding the Next Gravity Labs||New generations of telescopes offer the chance to discover and exploit new radio
pulsars, either found in extreme binary systems or orbiting stellar and super-massive
black holes. I will briefly summarise the current state of art and will present
new results from searching and timing with the MeerKAT telescope as an SKA precursor.
These include new discoveries as well as observations of relativistic binaries as probes
of gravity, demonstrating the power of radio astronomy in providing unique and
complementary insight into fundamental physics.
|8/12/2021||Erik Rosolowsky (University of Alberta)||Atomic Hydrogen at the Crossroads of Galaxy Evolution|
|8/19/2021||Alex Tetarenko (East Asian Observatory's James Clerk Maxwell Telescope)||Unraveling how black holes power explosive outflows with the time-domain||One of the key open questions in high energy astrophysics is understanding how black holes act as powerful cosmic engines, accreting large amounts of material and expelling matter in the form of relativistic jets. Time-domain observations now offer a promising new way to address this question. Through detecting and characterizing rapid flux variability in black hole systems across a wide range of frequency/energy bands, we can measure properties that are difficult, if not impossible, to measure by traditional spectral and imaging methods (e.g., size scales, geometry, jet speeds, the sequence of events leading to jet launching). While variability studies in the X-ray bands are a staple in the community, there are many challenges that accompany such studies at longer wavelengths. However, through utilizing the unique ability of the VLA to operate in sub-array mode, we can manufacture the data-sets we need to overcome these challenges. In this talk, I will discuss exciting new results from fast radio timing observations of several black hole X-ray binary sources. With this work, I will highlight how we can directly connect variability properties to internal jet physics, deriving fundamental jet properties from time-series signals alone. Additionally, I will discuss a new global observing program aimed at obtaining more of these invaluable fast timing data sets, and the key role that next-generation instruments (e.g., ngVLA, SKA, JWST) will play in driving new discoveries through this science.|
|8/26/2021||Eduardo Bañados (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy)||TBD|