Weekly Colloquium

Most weeks during the semester, we host a scholar for a one-day visit. The visit culminates with a public talk on a topic of contemporary physics or astronomy. Students are welcome to these talks, and seniors are required to attend at least nine over the course of a year. Near the end of each semester, honors thesis students give public lectures on their work.   

Our Astronomy program is part of the Five College Astronomy Department, which hosts its own colloquium series Thursdays at 3:45 pm at UMass. 

  • Contact colloquium organizer Alice Simmoneau with any questions about colloquia, or being added to our mailing list.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Tue, Mar 3, 2020

Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi, American Museum of Natural History: “Identifying Observational Signatures of Brown Dwarf and Giant Planet Formation”

Brown dwarfs are the critical link between the products of stellar and planetary formation pathways; hence, their population properties and compositions can inform on the likelihood of either formation history. In particular, multiplicity is a direct outcome of formation, yet it is challenging to measure it in a consistent way, since each binary detection technique is sensitive to a different range of separations and mass ratios.

In this talk, I will present results from a volume-limited spectroscopic sample, including a new binary fraction straddling the hydrogen-burning minimum mass, which separates stars from brown dwarfs. I will discuss future directions for a comprehensive characterization of both the statistical distributions of the population of multiple systems and the fundamental properties of their individual components as a function of age. These are crucial steps to identify spectroscopic signatures of formation.