The Winter 2020 UCLA Planetary Science Seminar Guest Speaker Schedule

Fridays from 12 – 1 PM in UCLA’s Geology Building (Room 3-853) unless otherwise specified here: https://epss.ucla.edu/seminars/planetary-science-seminar/winter-2020/

Jan. 10, 2020: David Page (UCLA) – Snowball Mars

Abstract: TBA

Jan. 17, 2020: Max Guenther (MIT) – Stellar Flares and Habitable (?) M-dwarf Worlds with TESS

Abstract: Finding and characterizing small exoplanets transiting small stars naturally poses the question of their habitability. A major contributing factor to this might be stellar flares, originating from powerful magnetic reconnection events on the star. While too powerful flaring can erode or sterilize exoplanets’ atmospheres and diminish their habitability, a minimum flare frequency and energy might be required for the genesis of life around M-dwarfs in first place. Here, I will first highlight our TESS study of stellar flares and our search for exoplanets transiting these stars, linking our findings to prebiotic chemistry and ozone sterilization. We already identified thousands of flaring stars, including many young, rapidly rotating M-dwarfs, some showing superflares with over 30x brightness increase in white light. Further, I will discuss a particularly interesting, newly discovered system: a super-Earth and two sub-Neptunes transiting the bright and nearby M-dwarf TOI-270, which is optimally suited to study the ‘missing link’ between planets on either side of the radius gap. With upcoming TESS sectors, stellar flare studies and new exoplanet discoveries will ultimately aid in defining criteria for exoplanet habitability.

Jan. 24, 2020: Kathryn Stack-Morgan (JPL) – Mars 2020

Abstract: TBA

Jan. 31, 2020: Yinjuan Ma (UCLA) – Maven Results

Abstract: TBA

Feb. 07, 2020: TBD – TBD

Abstract: TBD

Feb. 14, 2020: Siyi Xu (Gemini Observatory) – Exoplanets

Abstract: TBA

Feb. 21, 2020: Ariel Graykowski and Francisco Spaulding-Astudillo (UCLA) – Student Talks

Abstract(s): Both TBA

Feb. 28, 2020: James Owen (Imperial College, London) – Exoplanets

Abstract: TBA

Mar. 06, 2020: Taylor Dorn and Dave Milewski (UCLA) – Student Talks

Abstract(s): Both TBA

Mar. 13, 2020: LPSC Roundup

Abstract(s): TBA

Follow Iplex