Upcoming Seminars

MSI and Astro seminars are held on Tuesdays at 3:30 pm on alternating weeks during the fall and winter semesters.

Astro Seminars: feature speakers who discuss topics in astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology. Seminars will be held in the R.E. Bell Conference Room (room 103) in the Rutherford Physics Building. 

MSI Seminars: feature speakers who discuss topics in astrophysics, planetary science, atmospheric science and astrobiology. Most seminars are held in the MSI conference room at 3550 University. Some seminars are held in the R.E. Bell Conference Room (room 103) in the Rutherford Physics Building (to accommodate larger audiences).

 



12 Sep 15:30

MSI Faculty

McGill Space Institute

Learn about the diversity of research that goes on at the McGill Space Institute.

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19 Sep 23:30

Mike Eracleous

The Pennsylvania State University

The broad emission lines found in the spectra of quasars are a hallmark and defining characteristic of this class of astronomical object. They are thought to originate in dense (by astrophysical standards) gas that is in close proximity to the central supermassive black hole. The profiles of these lines and their time variability are now used as tools for a variety of applications. Examples include estimating black holes masses, probing the dynamics of the accretion flow, and searching for binary supermassive black holes. The utility of the broad lines as tools depends on our understanding of the structure of the gaseous medium that emits them, the "broad-line region." In this talk I will begin by summarizing what we know about the broad-line region and introduce some of the physical models that have been devised to describe it. I will then talk about projects that my collaborators and I have been carrying out in which we make use of the long-term variability of the broad emission lines. In one of these projects we exploit the variability of the line profiles on time scales of several years to probe the dynamics of the accretion disk that feeds the supermassive black hole. Through these studies we are arriving at a picture in which the accretion disk is massive and self-gravitating.

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26 Sep 15:30

John Ruan

McGill Space Institute

The proliferation of wide-field multi-epoch imaging surveys has now opened a new window to the time-domain for discovery of new and rare time-variable phenomena. From these surveys, the recent discovery of ‘changing-look’ quasars poses potential challenges to our understanding of accretion onto supermassive black holes. In this phenomenon, luminous quasars suddenly fade into quiescent galaxies over timescales of just a few years, a factor of 10000 faster than expected. I will examine different explanations for the origin of changing-look quasars, and discuss their incredible usefulness in probing accretion physics, supermassive black hole feedback, and galaxy evolution over cosmic time.

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28 Sep 13:00

MSI and Trottier Fellows Research Showcase

McGill

Short presentations by students & postdoctoral fellows doing space-related research, supported by the Trottier Family Foundation

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3 Oct 15:30

Kristen Garofali

University of Washington

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10 Oct 15:30

Emily Rauscher

University of Michigan

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17 Oct 15:30

Sarah Burke-Spolaor

West Virginia University

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24 Oct 15:30

Kerstin Perez

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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31 Oct 15:30

Christian Katlein

Alfred Wegener Institute

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7 Nov 15:30

John Moores

York University

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21 Nov 15:30

Fred Rasio

Northwestern University

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28 Nov 15:30

Marcel Agueros

Columbia University

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Past Seminars →