IAS/PU Joint Astrophysics Colloquium

MINERVA-Red: An Intensive Survey for Planets Orbiting the Nearest Low-mass Stars to the Sun

Cullen Blake
University of Pennsylvania
October 6, 2015
Recent results from Kepler and ground-based exoplanet surveys suggest that low-mass stars are host to numerous small planets. Since low-mass stars are intrinsically faint at optical wavelengths, obtaining the Doppler precision necessary to detect these companions remains a challenge for existing instruments.

Heavy Element Synthesis in the Universe

Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz
University of California, Santa Cruz
April 28, 2015

The source of about half of the heaviest elements in the Universe has been a mystery for a long time. Although the general picture of element formation is well understood, many questions about the nuclear physics processes and particularly the astrophysical details remain to be answered. Here I focus on advances in our understanding of the origin of the heaviest and rarest elements in the Universe.