Neighborhood Lecture Series

Neighborhood Lecture Series Spring 2021
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 

Our Neighborhood Lectures provide an opportunity to explore the world from the perspective of scientists who are working at the leading edge of scientific discovery. The lectures begin at 6:30 PM EDT and last for approximately one hour, followed by a brief question and answer period. Please note that registration will be required to access the Zoom webinar. We will also be streaming to our YouTube channel. 

Come not between the dragon and his wrath: A tale of small stars and their planets

March 18, 2021 | 6:30 PM EDT
Presented by Dr. Alycia Weinberger (Carnegie Science)

Of the ten closest stars to the Sun known to host planets, seven have masses less than half that of the Sun. These small stars are common and apparently host planets in abundance, but they also flare frequently. Energetic particles, X-ray, and ultraviolet light from flares may affect planet formation and evolution. Our tale will focus on two nearby stars singeing their planets.

About the speaker:

Dr. Alycia Weinberger is a Staff Scientist at the Carnegie Science Earth and Planets Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Weinberger is an observational astronomer interested in planet formation, exoplanets, and brown dwarfs. Her expertise includes high contrast/high spatial resolution imaging, infrared spectroscopy, astrometry, and instrumentation. Through her research, she aims to understand how planets form, so she observes young stars and their disks, the birthplaces of planets, as well as finding and studying planetary systems. Read more about Alycia Weinberger on her website or follow her on Twitter.

Exploring for diamonds and what they tell us about how the Earth works

April 29, 2021 | 6:30 PM EDT
Presented by Dr.Graham Pearson (University of Alberta)

Finding and evaluating diamond deposits is one of the hardest tasks in mineral resource development. In this talk, we will delve a little into the techniques used to find diamonds and how to evaluate the deposits. We will then examine why diamonds—the deepest derived of all natural materials—are unique in their ability to illuminate processes taking place over 700 km beneath Earth's surface, and up to 3.5 billion years back into its history. 

About the speaker:

Dr. Graham Pearson is a former postdoc at the Earth and Planets Laboratory (then the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism) and the current Canada Excellence Research Chair at the University of Alberta. As one of the world's leading scientists in diamond studies, Dr. Pearson uses diamonds as a window into the Earth's past. He aims to understand the formation of diamond-forming roots beneath continents. His research is focused on the cratonic mantle lithosphere, kimberlites, and diamonds. Read more about Graham Pearson on his website.