Planetary Group meeting
Nov 3 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Pizza Lunch: Ethan Dederick
Nov 6 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Pizza Lunch: Ethan Dederick @ AY 119

Cool Science Results

Special Pizza Lunch: Jane Rigby
Nov 9 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Special Pizza Lunch: Jane Rigby @ AY 119

Galaxy Evolution in High Definition Via Gravitational Lensing

Dr. Jane Rigby

Deputy Project Scientist for JWST, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Abstract: In hundreds of known cases, “gravitational lenses” have deflected, distorted, and amplified images of galaxies or quasars behind them.  As such, gravitational lensing is a way to “cheat” at studying how galaxies evolve:  lensing can magnify galaxies by factors of 10–100 times, transforming them from objects we can barely detect to bright objects we can study in detail.   For such rare objects, we are studying how galaxies formed stars at redshifts of 1–4, the epoch when most of the Universe’s stars were formed. For lensed galaxies, we can obtained spectral diagnostics that are currently unavailable for the distant universe, but will become routine with next-generation telescopes.

In particular, I’ll discuss MEGaSaURA, The Magellan Evolution of Galaxies Spectroscopic and Ultraviolet Reference Atlas, which comprises high signal-to-noise, medium spectral resolution (R~3300) spectra of 15 extremely bright gravitationally lensed galaxies at redshifts of 1.6<z<3.6.   The sample, drawn from the SDSS Giant Arcs Survey, are many of the brightest lensed galaxies known.  The MEGaSaURA spectra reveal a wealth of spectral diagnostics: absorption from the outflowing wind; nebular emission lines that will be key diagnostics for JWST, GMT, and TMT; and photospheric absorption lines and P Cygni profiles from the massive stars that power the outflow.

Solar Group meeting
Nov 9 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Galaxy Group
Nov 9 @ 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Inclusive Astronomy
Nov 9 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Public Talk: “Preparing to Explore the Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope” – Dr. Jane Rigby (NASA Goddard)
Nov 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Public Talk: "Preparing to Explore the Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope" - Dr. Jane Rigby (NASA Goddard) @ Gerald Thomas Hall, Room 194

Preparing to Explore the Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope

Dr. Jane Rigby (NASA Goddard, Deputy Project Scientist for JWST)

Abstract: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), scheduled to be launched in 2019, will revolutionize our view of the Universe.  As the scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, JWST will rewrite the textbooks and return gorgeous images and spectra of our universe.   In my talk, I will show how JWST will revolutionize our understanding of how galaxies and supermassive black holes formed in the first billion years after the Big Bang, and how they evolved over cosmic time.  I’ll describe how our international team is preparing for launch, how we decide what targets to observe, and how we are testing the telescope to be sure it will work in space.

More information about the telescope can be found at



PDS Atmospheres Node meeting
Nov 10 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Colloquium: Jane Rigby (Host: Moire Prescott)
Nov 10 @ 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Colloquium: Jane Rigby (Host: Moire Prescott) @ BX102

Science with the James Webb Space Telescope

Jane Rigby, NASA/GSFC

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will have revolutionary capabilities and sensitivity for imaging and spectroscopy from 0.7 to 28 micron.  JWST should make major scientific advances across astrophysics, including the physics of reionization, galaxy formation and assembly, planetary science, and extrasolar planets.  In anticipation of a scheduled launch in 2019, JWST Cycle 1 Guest Observer proposals will be due in spring of 2018.  I will review the scientific capabilities of the telescope, the integration and test program, and how observers will plan observations and analyze JWST data.

Pizza Lunch: James Lewis
Nov 13 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Pizza Lunch: James Lewis @ AY 119

Multivariate Analysis of the CGM