This Week

Week Commencing 27 January 2020

Astrophysics Seminar meet and greet Pizza Lunch

Wednesday 29 January 2020, 1pm, Physics West Library
At 1pm there is the pizza lunch with the seminar speaker in the library.
Preceding the pizza lunch is the PhD meet & greet with the seminar speaker
(12.30 in the library).

Astrophysics & Space Research Group Seminar

Wednesday 29 January 2020, 2pm, Physics West 103
Speaker: Dr Or Graur
Title: Rage against the dying of the light: Type la supernovae at 1000 days
and beyond

Abstract: Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have famously been used as standard
candles, a use that led to the discovery that the expansion of the Universe
was accelerating under the influence of a mysterious new phenomenon called
"dark energy." And yet, we still do not have a clear picture of the progenitors
of SNe Ia, i.e., what types of star systems end up exploding as these
supernovae. For obvious reasons, most observers study these supernovae when
they are young and at their brightest. In my talk, I will present recent
results from studies of SN Ia rates, from non-detections of SNe Ia in
different types of observations, and from SN Ia observations taken thousands
of days after explosion. I will specifically emphasize how Hubble Space
Telescope observations of old SNe Ia >1000 days after explosion reveal new
information on the progenitors and physics of the explosions and their

Astronomy in the City

Wednesday 29 January 2020, 6:15 pm, Poynting Building Large Lecture Theatre S02

University of Birmingham Lecturer Dr Davide Gerosa will discuss his work
in a talk titled: "Somewhere in between astronomy and relativity". He will
discuss how, until recently, everything we know about the Universe (planets,
stars, galaxies...) came to us through light. Straddling the boundaries between
astronomy and relativity, gravitational waves provide a fundamentally new way
of exploring the cosmos. Why would we only look at the Universe when we can
also hear it?

Astronomy in the City is a series of free all-ticket public events, each
packed with astrophysics; stargazing, and tea and biscuits. Evenings begin
with talks covering astronomical highlights and recent research, and a
question-and-answer session (for everything from beginner's questions about
the night sky to the latest work done here in Birmingham). Afterwards, (if
the weather cooperates) we have observing with telescopes on campus.

Tickets are available from

This will be the third Astronomy in the City event of the 2019/2020 season.
A final event of the season is 4 March 2020. More details are on our website:


Common-Envelope Episodes that lead to Double Neutron Star formation
Alejandro Vigna-Gomez, Morgan MacLeod, Coenraad J. Neijssel,
Floor S. Broekgaarden, Stephen Justham, George Howitt, Selma E. de Mink
and Ilya Mandel

The origin of spin in binary black holes: Predicting the distributions of ther
 main observables of Advanced LIGO This one has been accepted to Astronomy & Astrophysics:
Simone S. Bavera, Tassos Fragos, Ying Qin, Emmanouil Zapartas,
Coenraad J. Neijssel, Ilya Mandel, Aldo Batta, Sebastian M. Gaebel,
Chase Kimball, Simon Stevenson


Previous issues can be found here