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Prarie Seminar Series - Dr. Locke Spencer

Fri. Feb. 6 12:30 PM - Fri. Feb. 6 01:20 PM
Location: 2M77

Dr. Locke Spencer

Dr. Locke Spencer

University of Lethbridge, Department of Physics & Astronomy

The Far-Infrared Universe: From Star Formation to the Cosmic Microwave Background

Over half of the energy emitted by the Universe appears in the relatively unexplored Far-Infrared (FIR) spectral region, which is virtually opaque from the ground and must be observed by space-borne instrumentation. The European Space Agency (ESA) Planck and Herschel Space Observatories, launched together on 14 May 2009, have both provided pioneering observations in this spectral range from star and planet formation to the intensity and polarization of the cosmic microwave background. Herschel and Planck completed observations in April and October of 2013, respectively.  Although data analysis efforts within the instrument teams are ongoing, both have provided data and analysis tools to ESA public archives in 2014 (with an anticipated early 2015 Planck data release). Recent Planck and Herschel results are presented with a discussion of the development of, and Canadian participation in, the future of FIR astrophysics.

Dr. Locke Spencer Bio:

Dr. Locke Spencer is a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in experimental astrophysics within the Astronomical Instrumentation Group (AIG) at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Lethbridge. Prior to his current position at the U of L, he completed his graduate studies working on the imaging Fourier transform spectrometer on-board Herschel/SPIRE, and completed a 3.5 year post-doctoral fellowship in Cardiff University, Wales working primarily with the Planck telescope High Frequency Instrument (HFI).  His research focus lies in instrumentation for Far-Infrared (FIR) astronomy and astrophysics, specializing in Fourier spectroscopy.  He is currently supporting a number of FIR projects, including the Herschel and Planck missions, while working to contribute towards future FIR space instruments and observatories.  He is a member of CAP and APEGA (P.Eng.).