The Center for Atmospheric Sciences | » (Cancelled) APS Departmental Seminar-Heidi B. Hammel (AURA)

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  • (Cancelled) APS Departmental Seminar-Heidi B. Hammel (AURA)

    This event has been cancelled due to the threat of inclement weather. It may be rescheduled for a later date.

    Date/Time: January 29 (Wednesday) noon

    Where: Center for Atmospheric Sciences Conference Room (Phenix 123)

    Speaker: Heidi B. Hammel

    From: Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)

    Topic: Modern exploration of the planet Uranus


    Uranus remains the most puzzling planet of the solar system, characterized by a large obliquity (98°), a large tilt between its rotation and magnetic axis (59°), a low thermal heat and intermittent atmospheric activity, an asymmetrical magnetosphere and a complex collection of rings and prograde satellites. Uranus, along with Neptune, forms a unique and under-explored category of planets within our solar system (the so-called ice giants). Yet these ice giants appear to be tracers of the story of our solar system, according to the dynamics of small bodies int he outer solar system. Moreover, as ice-giant-sized objects appear to be commonplace among the ensemble of planets in our galaxy, Uranus may provide a relevant template for our interpretation of this class of extrasolar planets. It has been only briefly explored with one spacecraft, the single Voyager 2 flyby in 1986. Ground- and space-based observations in the subsequent decades have revealed a wealth of information, however. Dr. Hammel will bring us up to date on the incredibly dynamic atmosphere of Uranus, as well as its rapidly evolving rings, intriguing aurorae, and mysterious moons.

    Dr. Hammel is the Executive Vice President of AURA, who oversees organizations such as the Space Telescope Science Institute (who runs the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope), National Optical Astronomy Observatory, National Solar Astronomy, Gemini Observatory and other LARGE observatories. It is a HUGE honor that we are able to host her. See this Wikipedia article to read more about her: