Institute of Astronomy

Molecules in star- and planet-forming regions: from ice cold to steaming hot

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Ewine van Dishoeck, Leiden28 January 2010Institute of Astronomy Colloquia


The earliest stages of star- and planet formation are obscured by tens
to hundreds of magnitudes of extinction. Observations of the gas and
dust at long wavelengths often provide the only way to obtain
information on the physical and chemical processes that occur deep
inside these regions. In this talk, an overview of Spitzer, VLT, and
JCMT spectroscopic observations of ices, silicates, PAHs and hot gases
will be given. Spitzer has opened up the possibility to obtain high
quality mid-infrared spectra for large numbers of low-mass protostars
and disks around solar-mass pre-main sequence stars for the first
time, whereas VLT-CRIRES provide complementary high spatial and
spectral resolution data down to 1 AU. The results will be analyzed
using models of evolving protostellar envelopes and disks, including
transitional disks with inner holes and gaps in which planets may have
formed. The diagnostic values of the various lines and bands will be
emphasized, and the importance of laboratory data to interpret them
will be illustrated. Initial Herschel Space Observatory results will
be presented. The prospects for future facilities, in particular
Herschel, the James Webb Space Telescope and the Atacama Large
Millimeter Array, will be discussed.


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