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Chemistry between the stars: from clouds to planets

Ewine F. van Dishoeck

The space between the stars is not empty but filled with a very dilute gas. In spite of the extremely low temperatures and densities, these clouds contain a surprisingly rich chemistry, as evidenced by the detection of more than 300 different molecules, from simple to complex and from gas to solid-state ices. These clouds are also the birthplaces of new stars and planets. New powerful observatories such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and the James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) have found water and a surprisingly rich variety of organic materials near forming stars, including simple sugars, ethers and alcohols. How are these molecules formed in space? Which molecular processes play a role? How common are they and can they be delivered to new planets?

Speaker: Ewine F. van Dishoeck, Universiteit Leiden

Tuesday, 04/02/24


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Latimer Hall

UC Berkeley
Room 120
Berkeley, CA 94720