Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Cosmic Dust Spirals

Prof. Anthony Moffat
Université de Montréal

Thursday, November 9, 2006
12:30 PM @ Stirling 201

Abstract:

One of the most important, still unresolved problems in astrophysics is that of the origin and formation of interstellar dust grains – also necessary for the formation of planets and life itself. Even if dust only comprises a maximum of 0.1% of the mass of a galaxy like our own, it affects in a major way the propagation of light across the cosmos. Using the Gemini telescopes, North and South, I have probed more precisely in the mid infrared a new type of dust "machine", which will be the main thrust of this talk. Such engines may reveal some of the secrets of how dust actually forms.