Colloquium Series Recap

Colloquium Colloquium Series Recap

In efforts of unifying both the scientific community and the general public, the Arecibo Observatory (AO) has developed a new platform to open a space of conversation for experts in their fields to further expose their research to a broader audience. The AO Colloquium Series was launched on October 2, 2019 and introduced our first guest speaker, Prof. Avinash Deshpande from the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore, India. Professor Deshpande focused his presentation on the origin and evolution of highly magnetized, fast rotating pulsars. He highlighted the importance of the continuous use of the AO telescope for the further understanding of these celestial objects. “We still do not really understand how they radiate radio radiation, which is routinely studied with this telescope here [at the Arecibo Observatory]”, stated Prof. Deshpande.

For Deshpande, radio astronomy is more than just his field of study. “I’m a trained engineer and I’ve been having fun in astronomy for over 39 years”, said Prof. Deshpande in an interview before his talk and we felt very grateful to provide a space at AO for people as passionate as him. "I truly believe that the colloquium series will build up new collaborations with speakers who are experts in various fields, resulting in strong influence on science that will produce by Arecibo in the future”, said Ben Perera, radio astronomer at Arecibo. “For example, Prof. Deshpande, who was one of our colloquium speakers, already started working with the radio astronomy group and sharing his expertise with us on some of our observational experiments."

Taking advantage of the new platforms such as livestreaming and social media, this initiative seeks to push the boundaries of communication and maximize its reach. Our second guest, Dr. Scott England, serves as the project scientist for NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) and contributes as a co-investigator on the GOLD mission. He presented the science goals of the ICON mission, which are to better understand the physical aspects of the space environment and its effects on our technology and communications systems that guide airplanes, ships, and support our GPS systems. In addition to the incredible science that will be gained from continuous observations as the satellite orbits the Earth over the next two years, Dr. England shared how Arecibo’s “exquisite” measurements of the ionosphere will complement those to be made by ICON. “By studying what we are able to see from the AO here and what we see from the vantage point of space, we can really compare how those things relate from two very different vantage points”, said Dr. England. “It is a great experience being the interim chair of the committee and to see how much we have already developed over time when we started back in May. The first two colloquia did show the many benefits our scientists have by sharing time with leaders in their field of research. That is under usual circumstances like conferences or workshops not possible to this extent and intensity. Likewise, it gives the speaker the same opportunity of spending four days at AO. I experienced that with our second speaker Dr. Scott England, he already knew the topics and scientists he like to meet and collaborate with. I like to mention one of the things I am proud of, the audience in the Zoom room increased by four times form the first to the second colloquium. It shows the potential and the interest of our community in the AO Colloquium Series,” said Jens Lautenbach, space and atmospheric scientist at the AO.

You can watch the colloquia seminars and interviews with the Prof. Deshpande and Dr. England on the AO Colloquium webpage. We are excited to announce our next colloquium that will take place on January 21, 2020. The guest speaker will be Dr. Michael Denton from the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado and New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, New Mexico. We hope you can visit us or connect via livestream in our colloquium web page.

Text provided by Tracy Becker - AO Collaborator/SWRI Research Scientist

Arecibo Media Contact
Ricardo Correa
Universidad Ana G. Mendez (UAGM)
787-878-2612 ext. 615

Colloquium Series Coordinator
Dr. Jens Lautenbach
Arecibo Observatory

Keywords: arecibo, observatory, colloquium, series, deshpande, england, nasa, perera, icon, cosmic