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2017 SDAA Banquet Speaker
Dr. Nicholas Galitzki, UCSD Post-Doctoral Scholar in Astrophysics:
Magnetic Fields in Stellar Nurseries: Observations from a Balloon-borne Telescope"
Polarized thermal emission from dust grains can be used to trace magnetic fields in the stellar nurseries of the Milky Way. The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry (BLASTPol) flew from Antarctica in 2010 and 2012 and produced degree scale polarization maps of the Vela C molecular cloud with arcminute resolution. The results have shed insight into the role magnetic fields play in the earliest stages of star formation in our galaxy.
The success of BLASTPol has motivated a next-generation instrument, BLAST-TNG which will have 16 times the mapping speed of BLASTPol, sub-arcminute resolution, and a longer flight time. BLAST-TNG will be able to examine nearby molecular clouds and the diffuse galactic dust polarization spectrum in unprecedented detail. I will describe the scientific motivation behind the instruments as well as the overall architecture and design requirements of balloon-borne telescopes.
About the Speaker: Dr. Nicholas Galitzki began his astronomy career at the California Institute of Technology where he earned his B.S. in astrophysics in 2008. While at Caltech he was involved in two research projects, one with a lunar seismometer developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories and another working with a weather monitoring station for the proposed Caltech Cornell Atacama Telescope.
After Caltech, Nicholas took a break for a couple years which included a stint as a line cook at an Italian restaurant in Boulder, CO and time as a K through 9 teacher in Seoul, South Korea. After these adventures he continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his doctorate in astrophysics in 2016. While at UPenn, his research concentrated on the development and launch of a balloon borne telescope from Antarctica and the subsequent analysis of the data from the mission that has revealed new details about the star formation process in our Milky Way.
He has now joined the cosmology group at UC, San Diego on a project that aims to build the next generation of telescopes that will examine in unprecedented detail the polarized signal from the cosmic microwave background.
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