Ruth Angus, Ph.D.Associate Research Scientist, Astronomical Data, CCA, Flatiron Institute
Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
How do you tell time in space? To place Earth and the solar system in an astrophysical context, we must first resolve the time axis in our galaxy by measuring the ages of its stars and the planets that orbit them. This contextualization is a long-standing challenge in astronomy. Thankfully, newly developed methods may allow us to read stellar clocks accurately enough to place the galactic population of extrasolar planets on a timeline. With sufficient time resolution, we can infer the evolutionary properties of the ensemble of planetary systems in our galaxy and reveal planet formation pathways that have remained shrouded in mystery.
In this lecture, Ruth Angus will describe how the recent revolution in time-domain astronomy and the new era of large astrophysical surveys are leading to dramatic breakthroughs in time-resolved astrophysics. She will explain how to measure the ages of stars using statistical methods, and how new technology could lead to a new understanding of the evolution and formation of planetary systems and even the Milky Way galaxy itself.