Yale-NUS Astrophysics Tea Talks

During Spring Semester (or Semester 2 as it is called here) I am offering a new series of astrophysics tea talks to the undergraduates of Yale_NUS College. Below is the schedule of our talks, which will survey a wide range of topics in astronomy, astrophysics, physics and space science. The talks are at 4:30PM on Thursdays, and are typically in the Level 1 common lounge or room 301. At the end of the semester, students will visit the new NUS Cube-Sat development laboratory, and will also help plan a satellite mission in a conceptual mission development plan.  The Schedule for the talks is available at this linke: astrophysics.tea.talks (PDF). Also we have a summary of the talks below:astrophysics.tea.talks.001
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Visit to Lulin Observatory, and NCU Taiwan

During December of 2014 the National Central University, Taiwan, invited me to visit them and give a scientific talk to their astronomy department. While there I had a chance to visit their Lulin Observatory, one of the leading Asian observatories, with several large 1.0-meter class telescopes and a new 2.0 meter telescope in the works. The Lulin Observatory is near a national park near Jade Mountain – a summit taller than Mount Fuji! Within the Observatory are a number of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars working on projects related to solar system research and collaborations with Caltech’s Palomar Transient Factory. In the coming years the NCU and Lulin Observatory may be hosting student researchers from Yale_NUS College and from Pomona College, as part of a summer undergraduate research internship being designed during 2014-2015. These photos are from the summit of the observatory and show the telescopes, our friendly crew that hosted me during the overnight visit, and some of the instruments. In the coming years Lulin and NCU will be major partners with Caltech in the new ZTF project, and have been developing an amazing new instrument known as the SED-machine.

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Global Observatory Network for Solar System Observations

During January 8-9, 2015, we hosted an international group of astronomers at Yale-NUS and at NUS to discuss new forms of global astronomy projects. The visiting scientists represented observatories from Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, India, and California. Our group planned some coordinate observations for March 2015 which will involve telescopes from around the world viewing Jupiter 24 hours a day, and constructing a “weather map” of Jupiter that will enable astronomers to learn more about the drift of storm centers on Jupiter. We were joined by Glenn Orton, a senior scientist from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and these observations will be helpful to support the upcoming NASA mission known as Juno, which will encounter Jupiter in July 2016. Chris Go, world famous amateur astronomy imager gave a workshop on high resolution imaging of Jupiter as well. It was a great meeting!  You can learn more about our network – with the acronym GONSSO – at our site http://gonsso.commons.yale-nus.edu.sg.


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