Astronomy seminar: "Two instruments to start the new decade: HERA for 21cm cosmology and SPARCS to Monitor M-Dwarf flares affecting exoplanets"

Daniel Jacobs, Arizona State University
- | David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A6

Two new kinds of instruments are coming of age at the end of this decade: low frequency radio telescopes and cubesats, both being used to probe questions of our cosmic origin and the nature of exoplanets. The redshifted 21 cm hydrogen line is a unique probe of the early universe. A recent putative detection by EDGES, of a larger than expected signal, raises more questions. The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) is designed to answer these questions by providing high significance detection of fluctuations in the redshift range 6 to 20.  The Star-Planet Astronomy Research Cubesat (SPARCS) will monitor M-Dwarfs, which probably host a good fraction of all habitable zone planets, for UV flares.  SPARCS is a 6U (30x20x10cm) cubesat launching in 2021 with a novel UV sensitive detector providing near continuous month-long monitoring of a range of stars through a two year mission.   UV monitoring plus commensal low frequency observations will provide a unique multiwavelength view of exoplanet space weather.