News & Events

The Observatory is Open!

Visit our public observatory! Open from 7:00 to 9:00 PM EST -- 8:00 to 10:00 PM DST Monday thru Thursday when classes are in session.

Please call Larry DeWarf our observatory director, in advance if you plan to visit with a group of people. The phone number is 610.519.4820.

Fall 2014 Colloquium Schedule*

September 5

John Ruby (VU 16)

Villanova University

“Laser Plasma Interactions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory”


September 12

Dr. Bryan Eigenbrodt

Department of Chemistry, Villanova University

"High Temperature in situ X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Study of Sr2MgMoO6 Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Anode Materials”

(start-time = 4:00 PM)


September 19

Dr. Elliott Tammaro (VU ’08)

Department of Physics, Chestnut Hill College



October 2

Dr. Brad Gibson

University of Central Lancashire, UK

“Building Spiral Galaxies with Supercomputers”

The history of disk galaxy simulation is dotted with remarkable successes but tempered by frustrating impasses, including an inablility to produce anything remotely similar to the Milky Way.  Recent advances suggest that we might have made a breakthrough by generating essentially bulgeless disks. I will examine the evidence for this new-found optimism and identify where the shortcomings suggest that we should be concentrating our future efforts.

(start-time = 4:00 PM)


October 3

Dr. Joanna Mikolajewska

Copernicus Astronomical Center, Warsaw

“Symbiotic Stars: Observations Confront Binary Evolution Theory”

Symbiotic stars are long-period strongly interacting binaries in which the first-formed white dwarf accretes material from a red giant companion, and their study is essential to understand the evolution and interaction of detached and semi-detached binaries involving RGB and AGB stars.  But for all progress in deriving physical properties of these binaries, they continually pose challenges to the binary evolution theory.Among these are the issues regarding stability of mass transfer and synchronization in systems with tidally distorted giants, distribution of the orbital parameters of S-type systems, and their chemical peculiarities.  In my talk I will present and discuss some recent observational results addressing these problems. I will also briefly discuss the possible link between symbiotic stars and Supernova Type Ia progenitors.


October 24

Dr. Edward Sion

Department of Astrophysics & Planetary Science, Villanova University

“Accreting White Dwarfs in Interacting Binary Systems" 


November 7

Dr. Justinus Satrio

Department of Chemical Engineering, Villanova University



November 14

Dr. Anil Kandalam

Department of Physics, West Chester University

“Feasibility of Aluminum Zintl Anions in Gas-Phase Clusters”


November 21

Dr. Dana Saxon

Department of Physics, Villlanova University

"Tycho's Supernova Remnant: A Cosmic Ray Accelerator?"

Cosmic rays have been observed for a century, but their origin remains unknown. TeV gamma rays are the highest energy photons in the universe, and are produced through the acceleration of charged particles. So, TeV gamma ray emission can be used as an indicator for sites of particle acceleration, including cosmic rays. I will present evidence from TeV, GeV and X-ray observations that Tycho's supernova remnant (SNR) is likely a site of cosmic ray acceleration. Although SNRs have long been suspected to be the source of the Galactic cosmic ray population, evidence has only recently emerged to support this idea.


*Unless otherwise noted, colloquia are held at 2:30 PM on Fridays in Mendel 341.  Refreshments are served at 2:15