The University of Utah
Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah

Transit of Venus

Transit of Venus
Dr. Ben Bromley

Location: Skaggs Biology Building (ASB) Auditorium, Room 220 at the University of Utah
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Talk Date: June 4, 2012, 7:00pm

Venus Transit Date: June 5, 2012

Free event open to the public.

On June 5, 2012, our sister planet Venus will pass in front of the Sun. Venus’ silhouette will appear on the Sun’s face, just for a few hours. This “transit” event is rare! It won’t happen again for more than a century. But astronomers now see distant planets transiting their own stars every day. Come learn how Venus’ transit first helped astronomers map the Solar System and find out about the mysterious “Black Drop.” Hear about the trials and tribulations of the first transit chasers and find out how today’s searches are on the verge of discovering worlds that may harbor life like our own, or creatures very different from us!


Annular Eclipse Party at South Physics

Annular Solar Eclipse party

South Physics Observatory (map)

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Priti Shah Thesis Defense 05/10/12

Thesis Defense

Priti Shah

Thursday, May 10, 2012
3:00pm (206 JFB)

Title: Monocular Measurement of the Ultra High Energy Cosmic Ray Spectrum while Relaxing the Profile Constraint


Cosmic rays are charged particles of galactic and extragalactic origin. In the ultra high energy regime, due to their extremely low flux, cosmic rays can only be observed indirectly via an extensive air shower induced when they interact in the Earth's atmosphere. The Telescope Array (TA) experiment, the largest experiment in operation in the northern hemisphere, observes the longitudinal profile of the fluorescence light from these extensive air showers via telescopes. The Middle Drum fluorescence telescope station utilizes the same equipment as the HiRes-I site of the High Resolution Fly's Eye (predecessor to Telescope Array) experiment. The equipment has simply been reconfigured. As HiRes-I, the telescopes viewed 3-17o in elevation and nearly 360o in azimuth. As a result of this, the track length in the cameras tended to be short. In the Telescope Array configuration, the telescopes view 3-31o in elevation, but only about 120o in azimuth, however, the resulting track lengths are significantly longer. With the short track lengths, one needed to make an assumption about the shape of the profile; that it had a Gaisser-Hillas shape. The longer track lengths make this unnecessary. I have analyzed the data using a Time vs Angle geometry method. The results show an ultra high energy cosmic ray energy spectrum that is consistent with the previous results of the HiRes experiment as well as that measured by the TA surface detectors.


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