Global search for ultra-low velocity zones at the core-mantle boundary

Dr. Michael Thorne

December 6, 2021
General Seminar
Dr. Michael Thorne, University of Utah

Seismic heterogeneity in the deep mantle ranges in scale from 1,000’s of km as represented by the Large Low-Velocity Provinces (LLVPs) and imaged in seismic tomography down to 10’s of km as imaged through the scattered seismic wavefield. The origin of the small-scale heterogeneities is still debated yet enigmatic features with scale lengths from 10’s to 100’s of km, and known as ultralow-velocity zones (ULVZs) likely contributes to a large portion of the observed heterogeneity. 

Opportunities for Imaging the Planet Forming Environment with ALMA

Dr. Ian Czekala

December 13, 2021
General Seminar
Dr. Ian Czekala, Penn State University

In recent years, spatially resolved observations of protoplanetary disks have delivered stunning images of radial substructures and azimuthal asymmetries, yielding new insights into the planet-forming environment. With its additional capability to spectrally resolve molecular line emission, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) is providing an exciting new dimension with which to study protoplanetary disk dynamics, structures, and astrochemical inventories.

Characterizing Giant Planet Atmospheres with Hubble

Dr. Munazza Alam

December 20, 2021
General Seminar
Dr. Munazza Alam, Earth and Planets Laboratory

With over 4,000 exoplanet discoveries to date, we have caught a glimpse of the broad diversity of planets that span a range of masses, compositions, and orbital configurations. The next chapter in exoplanet exploration will focus on probing the atmospheres of these worlds, and we are now poised to begin large-scale atmospheric studies of exoplanets with current instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) via transmission spectroscopy. In this talk, Alam will present precise optical to infrared (~0.3-5.0 microns) transmission spectra taken with HST for four gas giant planets: WASP-52b, HAT-P-32b, WASP-62b, and HIP41378f.