What’s on : Lectures

Interstellar snowflakes: from simple molecules to life

Lectures
Date
12 Nov 2019
Start time
7:30 PM
Venue
Tempest Anderson Hall
Speaker
Dr Catherine Walsh, University of Leeds

Event Information

Interstellar snowflakes: from simple molecules to life
Dr Catherine Walsh, University of Leeds

The interstellar medium, the space between the stars, appears dark and empty to our eyes. However, it is full of massive clouds of dust and gas that shine with light at long wavelengths: these clouds are the formation sites of the next generation of stars and their surrounding planetary systems.

Star-forming clouds have a rich and exotic chemistry that builds large molecules despite the harsh conditions in space. We can observe light from these molecules using state-of-the-art telescopes. These observations are revealing for the first time the composition of planet-building material in nearby young planet-forming systems. We will explore the role of molecules in star and planet formation, and speculate on the importance of interstellar chemistry on seeding life on “life-friendly” planets.

Astrophysics mini theme”