Lectures & Colloquia

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The Astronomy Department has regular, weekly colloquia during the fall and spring terms by distinguished scientists and scholars covering essentially all aspects of current astronomy, astrophysics, and space sciences - observations, theory, simulations, instrumentation, and history of astronomy. 

The colloquia are held every Thursday afternoon 4-5 pm in room 105 of the Space Sciences Building and are preceded at 3:30 pm by tea, coffee, and cookies. The public is welcome. 


Date Topic Speaker  
January 31, 2019 "Exploring the Evolution of the Universe with the CCAT-prime" Terry Herter, Cornell University  
February 7, 2019 "Galaxy Evolution using Lots of Resolved Galaxies" Karen Masters, Haverford College  
February 14, 2019 "Intensity Mapping to Probe the Intestellar Medium" Anthony Pullen - NYU  
February 21, 2019 CANCELLED! René Doyon, University of Montreal, CA  
February 28, 2019 "As Worlds Turn: Planetary Spin, Climate, and Life" Caleb Scharf, Columbia University  
March 7, 2019 "The Importance of Brown Dwarfs" Jacqueline Faherty - American Museum of Natural History  
March 14, 2019 "Ensuring Inclusivity: How Diversity is Like Quantum Mechanics" Julie Rathbun, Planetary Science Institute  
March 21, 2019 "The Tip of the Planetary Iceberg: How Observed Planets May Differ from their More Distant Cousins" Salpeter Lecture: Ruth Murray-Clay, UCSC  
March 28, 2019 "Using Gravity to Probe the Martian Sedimentary Rock Record" Kevin Lewis - Johns Hopkins University  
April 11, 2019

"Solving the Puzzles of Planet Formation in the Modern Era of Planet-Hunting"

Elisa Quintana - NASA  
April 18, 2019 "A Good Hard Look at Cosmic Supermassive Black Hole Growth" W. Niel Brandt, Penn State University  
April 25, 2019 "Polarization by Interstellar Dust -- What Does it Tell Us?" Gold Lecture: Bruce Draine, Princeton  
May 2, 2019 "From cosmic web to molecular clouds: the multiple scales of galaxy evolution" Gordon Lecture: Amelie Saintonge, University College London  


Planetary Lunch

The Planetary Lunch Seminar Series (PLunch) is an informal seminar series with talks that are relevant to everybody with an interest in planetary science.  Speakers include both members of the Cornell community and visitors.  Talks are aimed to appeal to and presented by faculty members, research associates, and both graduate and undergraduate students from various academic departments.  The seminar is every Monday during the term at 12:20 pm in Space Sciences room 622.  Lunch and refreshments are not provided.


Date Topic Speaker
March 4, 2019 Io’s Loki Volcano from ground-based and spacecraft data  Julie Rathbun (Planetary Science Institute)
March 11, 2019 Stellar surface brightness mapping with starspot crossing transits Leslie Hebb (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)
March 25, 2019 Origin and Evolution of Comets Jean-Baptiste Vincent (DLR Institute of Planetary Research)
April 22, 2019 Deep and methane-rich lakes on Titan Valerio Poggiali (Cornell University)
April 23, 2019  Astrometry unleashed: The Saturnian system Dr. Valery Lainey (JPL and Paris Observatory)
April 29, 2019 Star-Terrestrial Planet Interaction in Our Solar System and Beyond: Magnetic Fields, Atmospheric Loss, and Prebiotic Chemistry Dr Chuanfei Dong (Princeton)



Astrophysics Lunch

Astrophysics Lunch is a series of informal talks on topics related to theoretical astrophysics, gravitational physics, and cosmology.  Speakers are free to present their own research or present papers that they find of particular interest.  The audience consists of faculty members, research staff, as well as graduate and undergraduate students, so talks should be at a level accessible to most. Astrophysics Lunch is open to talks from all members of the Cornell community, as well as to visiting scientists. We will reschedule a local speaker in order to accommodate visitors.

Astrophysics Lunch is held every Wednesday during the academic year at 12:15 PM in Space Sciences 622.

Bring your own lunch.

Date Topic Speaker
February 6, 2019 "GRMHD Simulations of Precessing Tilted Accretion Disks" and "On the Inverse Spectrum Problem of Neutron Stars" Cristobal Armaza and Gabe Bonilla
February 13, 2019 TBA Soumyajit Bose and Dante Iozzo
February 20, 2019 Why is it difficult to observe electric current in cosmic plasma? Michael Clarage (Ronin Institue)
February 27, 2019 TBA Daniel Siegel (Columbia
March 6, 2019 TBA Jing Luan (IAS)
March 13, 2019 TBA Daniel Vieira and Eamonn O'Shea
March 20, 2019 TBA Peter Rau and Laurent Boulet
March 27, 2019 Stellar Coalescence at the Onset of Common Envelope Phases Morgan MacLeod (Harvard)
April 10, 2019 Prophets of Doom and the Doom of Prophecy: Planetesimal Dynamics in the Outer Solar System Bill Newman (Institute for Advance Studies)
April 17, 2019 TBA Matteo Cantiello (Flatiron CCA)
April 24, 2019 TBA Georgios Valogiannis and Victoria Calafut
May 1, 2019 TBA Jason Stevens and Eve Vavagiakis


Galaxy Lunch

The Galaxy Lunch Series is held every Tuesday during the academic year, at 12:15pm, in Space Sciences room 622. In general, there will be an hour-long talk/discussion on topics related to galactic and extragalactic astronomy, and large-scale structure. The audience consists of faculty members, research staff, as well as graduate and undergraduate students, so talks should be at a level accessible to most. Galaxy Lunch is open to talks from all members of the Cornell Astronomy department, as well as to visiting scientists and speakers from different disciplines/departments.

Bring your own lunch.

The Thomas Gold Lecture Series

On the occasion of the retirement of the world famous astrophysicist, Tommy Gold, the University established the Thomas Gold Lectureship in Astronomy to bring outstanding scientists to Cornell for brief visits. 

Former Thomas Gold Lecturers:

The Salpeter Lecture Series

The Salpeter Lecture Series was established in 1998 to honor Professor Edwin E. Salpeter, one of the most important astrophysicists of the 20th century. Under the auspices of the lectureship, distinguished astronomers and astrophysicists are invited to visit Cornell for one to two weeks.

Former Salpeter Lecturers:

The Yervant Terzian Lecture Series

On the occasion of Yervant Terzian's 70th birthday, the University established the Yervant Terzian Lectureship in Astronomy to bring outstanding scientists to Cornell for brief visits. The Lectureship was endowed by a generous gift from Friend of Astronomy Charles Mund, Jr.

Former Terzian Lecturers: