Thematic area 9 of the CSIC’s new White Book: Understanding the basic components of the Universe, its structure and evolution.
Speaker: Rainer Schödel, María José Costa &
Date: October, 29th 2020
CSIC is about to publish a White Book to define its scientific strategy for the coming decades. The White Book contains chapters on 14 different thematic areas. One of the main goals of this exercise is to increase collaboration between research groups and institutes of the CSIC. Particular value is set on inter- and cross-disciplinary work. Each thematic area defines a set of “challenges”, key scientific questions for the coming decade(s) in which the CSIC has or can achieve national and international leadership. The future allocation of resources in the CSIC will take these challenges into account. The challenges will be revised every four years. Here we present the ten challenges of Thematic area 9 "Understanding the basic components of the Universe, its structure and evolution.”.
J-PAS: First light results of the JPCam
Speaker: Bonoli, Silvia
Filiation: Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), Spain
Date: September, 17th 2020
The Javalambre-Physics of the Acclerating Universe Asptrohysical Survey (J-PAS) have just started to scan thousands of square degrees of the northern sky with 56 narrow band filters and the JPCam instrument with the telescope 2.5m of the Javalambre Observatory. Before the JPCam started its operation, we have observed with the pathfinder camera one sq. deg on the AEGIS field (along the extended Groth Strip). This colloquium will present the results of the first light of the JPCam, and will show the potential of J-PAS through the analysis of the pathfinder mini-JPAS survey. This data were already public delivered in December 2019, and the paper with presentation of the first results (Bonoli et al 2020) submitted to A&A.
Massive black hole binaries in the cosmos
Speaker: Volonteri, Marta
Filiation: Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris
Date: September, 10th 2020
Massive black holes weighing from a few thousands to tens of billions of solar masses inhabit the centers of today's galaxies, including our own Milky Way. Massive black holes also shone as quasars in the past, with the earliest detected a mere one billion years after the Big Bang. Along cosmic time, encounters between galaxies hosting massive black holes in their centers have produced binary massive black holes that eventually coalesced by emission of gravitational waves. I will discuss the physical processes through which massive black holes pair and bind, present the analysis of cosmological simulations to investigate the properties of merging massive black holes and their host galaxies and conclude with how we can use gravitational wave observations with ESA's planned satellite LISA to constrain the evolving population of massive black holes.
Active Galactic Nuclei: fueling and feedback
Speaker: Combes, Françoise
Filiation: Observatoire de Paris
Date: September, 3rd 2020
Dynamical mechanisms are essential to exchange angular momentum in galaxies, drive the gas to the center, and fuel the central super-massive black holes. While at 100pc scale, the gas is sometimes stalled in nuclear rings, recent observations reaching 10pc scale, or 60mas with ALMA, have revealed, within the sphere of influence of the black hole, smoking gun evidence of fueling. Observations of AGN feedback will be described, together with the suspected responsible mechanisms. Molecular outflows are frequently detected in active galaxies with ALMA and NOEMA, with loading factors between 1 and 5. When driven by AGN with escape velocity, these outflows are therefore a clear way to moderate or suppress star formation. Molecular disks, or tori, are detected at 10pc-scale, kinematically decoupled from their host disk, with random orientation. They can be used to measure the black hole mass.
The Orion Radio All-Stars: new insights into YSO radio emission, using the VLA, VLBA, and ALMA
Speaker: Forbrich, Jan
Filiation: University of Hertfordshire
Date: July, 30th 2020
With significant new observing capabilities, centimeter-wavelength radio astronomy is currently in a renaissance leading up to the advent of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), highlighting new opportunities and also technical challenges. The sensitivity upgrades of both the NRAO Very Large Array (VLA) and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) have begun to provide us with a much improved perspective on stellar centimeter radio emission, particularly concerning young stellar objects (YSOs) and ultracool dwarfs. For the first time we now have systematic access to the radio time domain and new information to disentangle thermal and nonthermal emission. I will mainly present the Orion Radio All-Stars, an ongoing project targeting the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) with the VLA, VLBA, and ALMA. With simultaneous radio-X-ray time domain information (Chandra), this project is providing first constraints on YSO radio flares and their relation with X-ray flares, as well as improved constraints on the overall high-energy irradiation of their surroundings, including protoplanetary disks. Our astrometric follow-up of all identified VLA targets in Orion is the largest VLBA survey for YSO emission to date. Other than providing a nonthermal census, I will additionally discuss the use of the VLBA for precision stellar astrometry in the Gaia era. I will conclude with a first look at variable millimeter continuum emission in the inner ONC, targeting synchrotron flares in this new window on high-energy processes in YSOs.
Young Runaway Stars
Speaker: Rodríguez, Luis Felipe
Filiation: Instituto de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica, UNAM, México
Date: February, 20th 2020
Most stars have spatial velocities within a few km/s of the average velocity of their surroundings and can be considered to be gravitationally trapped. There are, however, a small number of stars that move at velocities of tens or even hundreds of km/s with respect to their environment and that will eventually escape from there. The archetypal runaway stars are mu Col and AE Aur that escaped in opposite directions from the vicinity of the Orion Nebula Cluster about 2.5 million years ago at velocities of order 100 km/s. Can we find “young” (i. e. recently ejected) runaway stars in regions of star formation? We will present the cases of an O6 star that was ejected about 6,000 years ago from the Welch ring of ultracompact HII regions in W51N and review the case of the BN/KL region in Orion from where six runaways ejected only 500 years ago have been detected. Finally, we will discuss the mechanisms that have been proposed to produce runaway stars.
Extrasolar planets: recent advances and future challenges
Speaker: Cabrera, Juan
Filiation: DLR Berlin
Date: February, 4th 2020
Recently a group of scientists has confirmed the presence of water in the atmosphere of a super Earth orbiting in the habitable zone of its host star. But what what does this milestone represent in the search for life outside Earth? What do we mean by habitable? What do we really know about extrasolar planets, their internal structure or origins? What is a super Earth, the most common planet category know to date for which no example is found in our solar system? How do we characterize exoplanetary atmospheres? How are these different from the planetary atmospheres in our solar system? How do we search for life? In my talk I will present an overview of recent discoveries in the field of extrasolar planet characterization with focus on their atmospheres, habitability, and the search for life. I will take the opportunity to introduce the most recent European space missions related to planet characterization: CHEOPS, PLATO, and ARIEL.
Extragalactic survey science in the 2020s: the role of radio continuum observations with the SKA
Speaker: Sargent, Mark T.
Filiation: U. of Sussex, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Astronomy Centre (UK)
Date: January, 23rd 2020
Extragalactic surveys in the 2020s will reveal the full diversity of the galaxy assembly process: from environment-dependent evolution to the build-up of mass inside galaxies, and with a complete accounting of all relevant processes/constituents ensured by multi-wavelength coverage. Observations at radio wavelengths carry a unique potential in that they can probe star-formation activity and cold gas content, i.e. place constraints on both galaxy growth rates and the fuel for future galaxy growth. With the construction of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), radio astronomy will enter a new era; high-sensitivity, high-resolution and dust-unbiased radio imaging will provide a confusion-free census of star formation and black hole activity, regardless of whether these occur in dust-obscured or optically thin regions. I will review the high-priority science cases developed by the SKA Extragalactic Continuum Science Working Group and outline the challenges brought about by our still only partial understanding of some of the astrophysical mechanisms producing radio emission (e.g. the relation between star formation rate and radio continuum luminosity). Thanks to an order of magnitude increase in survey speed compared to existing radio telescopes, SKA surveys will detect millions of galaxies. I will summarize how - in addition to advancing our understanding of the drivers of the cosmic star-formation history - "commensal" survey design will ensure that information on galaxy shapes, redshifts, spatial distribution and polarization can be used for cosmological studies and to trace the evolution of magnetic fields in galaxies and the cosmic web.
Unveiling the nature of planetary systems
Speaker: Pozuelos, Francisco J.
Filiation: Space Sciences, Technologies and Astrophysics Research (STAR) Institute, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium
Date: December, 10th 2019
The burgeoning field of exoplanets has yielded thousands of discoveries, which collectively have the potential to help us better understand our place in the Universe. Every month more and more planetary systems are being discovered, some of them in highly exotic configurations never observed previously. The combination of different techniques and studies are needed to unveil the real nature of these planetary systems. In this seminar, I will review some of the most recent photometric surveys notably dedicated to find Earth-size planets, such as TESS and SPECULOOS, and how the combination of their findings with ground-based spectroscopic surveys, such as CARMENES, can be used to discriminate between families of planets: rocky super-Earths, volatile-rich super-Earths, Neptunes etc. I will also show how dynamical simulations help to better understand the planetary architecture of each system discovered by the aforementioned methods. Indeed, as it happens with studies of our own Solar System, to yield a deeper understanding of planetary architectures, both in general and specific cases, we need to study each system as a whole by taking into consideration the star, the planets, and the minor bodies within the system (dust disks, main asteroid analogues, etc.). I will show how the combination of all these methods (photometry, spectroscopy, and dynamical simulations) is necessary to shed light onto the real nature of a given planetary system.
Recent advances about the exoplanetary exospheres
Speaker: García Muñoz, Antonio
Filiation: Technical University of Berlin and DLR
Date: November, 27th - 28th 2019
The upper atmosphere of a planet plays a key role at protecting the lower altitudes from the effects of energetic stellar EUV and soft X-ray photons and keV-energy precipitating particles. Through a variety of transport processes, the upper atmosphere also participates in the net loss of a planet’s bulk composition into space. As such, the physics and chemistry occurring in the upper atmosphere influence the evolution of a planet over its lifetime. Understanding these processes is critical to form a complete picture of planet evolution and their response to the stellar environment. Exoplanets represent a unique opportunity to advance our understanding of upper atmospheres because of the diversity of conditions they are exposed to. In this seminar, I will give an overview on recent advances in the investigation of the upper atmospheres of exoplanets, both observational and theoretical.
Outflows and their feedback effect in galaxies
Speaker: Maiolino, Roberto
Filiation: Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge
Date: November, 14th 2019
Galactic outflows are an essential component of galaxies' lifecycle. They regulate star formation and can even totally quench star formation in galaxies, hence transforming star forming galaxies into passive systems. I will review the properties of galactic outflows, their multi-phase nature, their driving mechanism, both in normal star forming galaxies and in galaxies hosting Active Galactic Nuclei, both in the local Universe and in primeval galaxies. I will show that the "ejective" mode is less effective than previously thought in quenching star formation in galaxies, in the sense that outflows are generally not really capable of cleaning galaxies of their gas content. However, outflows can contribute to heat their circumgalactic medium hence suppressing accretion of fresh gas, and therefore quenching galaxies as a consequence of "starvation". I will also show that, although galactic outflows are generally associated to negative feedback, they can also have a positive feedback effect, in the sense that they can also foster star formation. In particular, I will show recent evidences of star formation occurring inside galactic outflows. This phenomenon was predicted by recent models and could provide a new channel for the formation of the spheroidal component of galaxies.
Characterization of (exo)Planetary Atmospheres
Speaker: Molaverdikhani, Karan
Filiation: Heidelberg University/MPIA, Germany
Date: November, 11th - 15th 2019
Characterization of planetary atmospheres has always been a challenge. While the next generation of facilities, such as ELT, JWST, and ARIEL, will improve our understanding of planetary atmospheres, the number of well-characterized exoplanet atmospheres is expected to remain limited. Large-scale simulations assist us with this shortcoming by predicting the diversity of the planetary atmospheres, connecting the spare observational measurements, and by pointing toward the regions on the parameter space where a higher chance of the detection of planets with desired properties is expected. I will overview our current understanding of planetary atmospheres and will highlight the results of our hierarchical modelling of planetary atmospheres; including our newly proposed classification scheme for irradiated gaseous planets, the Methane Valley, and a sweet-spot to study disequilibrium chemistry by JWST.
Neutral and molecular gas outflows as tracers of the impact of radio jets
Speaker: Morganti, Raffaella
Filiation: Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy
Date: October, 31st 2019
Our view of the gas and its physical conditions in the central region of AGN has been enriched by the discover of fast and massive outflows of HI and molecular gas. These outflows can be driven by radiation/winds but also by the interaction of the radio plasma with the ISM. Understanding the origin and quantifying their impact requires to trace their location and derive their physical conditions (density of the gas, mass, mass outflow rate and kinetic energy of the outflow etc.). Particularly interesting has been the finding that in the first phase of their life, jet in radio galaxies can be particularly effective in driving such outflows. This crucial phase is at the heart of the idea of feedback, therefore particularly relevant for studying feedback in action. In this talk, I will present some of the results we have obtained to trace jet-driven HI and molecular gas outflows down to scales ranging from hundred to tens of pc. The impact of low-power radio jets will be discussed and the comparison with the predictions from numerical simulations will also be presented. Outflows of up to few hundred Msun/yr have been found in molecular gas using ALMA while the HI observed with VLBI is showing that the outflowing gas is clumpy as also predicted from numerical simulations. I will describe the kinematics of the gas and its conditions and the relevance they may have for feedback.
Molecular spectroscopy at high resolution for everyone
Speaker: Martín Ruiz, Sergio
Filiation: European Southern Observatory - Joint ALMA Observatory, Chile
Date: October, 23rd 2019
Molecular observations at high resolution is being revolutionized by the success of ALMA and the upcoming advent of SKA. In this talk I will explain the recent progress in the field of molecular observations in the central regions of galaxies and the big steps that we are currently making in the use and understanding of molecular tracers as a proxy to buried physical processes in active galaxies. I will show some preliminary results from the ALCHEMI ALMA Large Program aimed at imaging at unprecedented resolution and sensitivity the chemical complexity within central molecular zone of the prototypical starburst NGC 253. I will try to sneak peak its astrochemical value but also to link this study to the understanding of physical properties in distant heavily obscured galaxies as well as those of the center of our Galaxy. I will aim at showing the potential of molecular studies in a variety of astrophysical objects from local galaxies, to high-z, and/or transient energetic events like GRBs. Not only instruments like ALMA are aiming at becoming accessible to not experts in interferometry but also software tools need to play the same role. I will present the software package MADCUBA that allows to easily analyze complex molecular spectra from state of the art instruments.
What's is the metallicity of cool dwarf stars?
Speaker: Rojas-Ayala, Barbara
Filiation: Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile
Date: October, 17th 2019
Cool dwarfs are the most numerous stars in the Galaxy and they account for most of its baryonic mass. However, they are likely the least understood main sequence stars. Their complex atmospheres, due to their low temperatures and high surface gravities, have made their spectroscopic study a hard task. Until recently, their basic physical properties, such as radii and mass, were poorly constrained due to the lack of empirical data. Stellar theoretical models were also affected by this and had relied on incomplete or approximate input physics to predict their main characteristics. New methods and analyses have been created in the last decade to obtain what could be considered their least studied property: their metallicity. The abundance of metals in their photospheres can provide key information to better understand the formation and evolution of planets, stars, and our Galaxy. In this talk, I will present the latest works and advances related to the metallicities of M dwarf stars, the challenges that the cool dwarf photospheres still present to us, and discuss what else is needed to obtain precise and consistent abundances for them, as it can be achieved for FGK stars.
FPGAs in space: current experiences, future challenges and opportunities
Speaker: Merodio Codinachs, David
Filiation: European Space Agency (ESA)
Date: October, 7th 2019
FPGAs are key components in space equipment due to their versatility and performance to implement digital functions. They are embarked in satellites and used in many applications; such as observing the earth, provide telecommunications and navigation services as well as to contribute to science and explore the wider Universe. The FPGAs face very different conditions in space compared to the terrestrial applications, especially due to the radiation environment, which limits the selection of the FPGAs that can be used. This talk will provide an overview of the current use of FPGAs in ESA missions and a short introduction to the radiation effects in the FPGAs, how they are analysed, tested and mitigated. The emerging private space industry or "new space", as well as, the nanosatellites have different requirements than the class 1 programmes. The points presented are becoming even more relevant and are including new challenges.
Searching extended line-emission objects in wide-field survey: The IPHAS experience
Speaker: Sabin, Laurence
Filiation: Instituto de Astronomia, UNAM, Ensenada, Mexico
Date: June, 17th - 28th 2019
Completeness is one of the major issues affecting the study of populations of Galactic and extragalactic sources. I have been working on the detection of extended emission-line nebulae of low surface brightness in the INT Photometric Halpha Survey of the Galactic Plane using a mosaicking technique. Various new symbiotic stars, supernova remnants and planetary nebulae that had escaped earlier screening have been discovered. I will present the characteristic of IPHAS and the detection methods that were used and how this experience can be used by other imaging and photometric surveys.
Back to Orion
Speaker: Rodrígues, Luis Felipe
Filiation: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
Date: June, 13th 2019
Orion is the massive star formation region closest to the Sun and in consequence it has been studied in detail. I will present three recent results from the IRyA group on in this region. The first one is the ultraprecise determination of the distance to Orion using VLBI observations of stars with either thermal or non-thermal emission. Finally, we will focus on the extraordinary “explosion” that seems to have taken place in the Orion BN/KL region. Not only the molecular gas but also several stars are receding from a point in common with velocities of hundreds of km/s for the gas and of tens of km/s for the stars. We will present the most recent data on the proper motion of the stars and discuss the models that have been proposed to explain this phenomenon.
CTA: the Cherenkov Telescope Observatory for VHE Gamma Ray Astronomy
Speaker: Martínez, Manel
Filiation: IFAE-BIST
Date: March, 28th 2019
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), currently in construction, shall be the Cherenkov Telescope Observatory for VHE Gamma Ray Astronomy, and shall provide crucial data for the understanding of the extreme universe in the recently open multimessenger era. The goals and characteristics of the project will be reviewed, and the current status and plans presented. In addition, the crucial role of the Spanish community in this project will be highlighted.