Astronomy Colloquium for 2019-10-16

Series: Astronomy Colloquium
Date: Wednesday 16-Oct-2019
Time: 16:05-17:00 (4:05-5:00 pm)
Location: ATL 2400
Speaker: Dr. Dr. Klaus Pontoppidan (STSCI)
Title: The Cauldron of Planet Formation: Understanding our Origins with Infrared Spectroscopy

The origins of the elemental carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen that form life can be traced back to a massive reservoir of prestellar ices, which accretes onto planet-forming disks before they take part in the formation of planetesimals and ultimately planetary atmospheres. Their chemical evolution determines the compositions of planets, including those destined to orbit in a habitable zone. Yet the path from the interstellar medium to planets is one fraught with complexity and twists, making multi-wavelength observations critical to constrain theoretical predictions for planetary chemistry. In the past decade, great progress has been made in observing protoplanetary chemistry, not least in measuring the molecular composition in protoplanetary disks. In particular the warm molecular gas and dust in the planet-forming region of young disks are often probed in the near- to far-infrared. I will tell the current story of planet-forming chemistry, and argue that the James Webb Space Telescope, SOFIA, and future infrared observatories will play a fundamental role in our quest to understand our place in the Universe.

Colloquia are usually preceded by espresso and ice cream at 1:45 pm outside room PSC 1150 and are followed by an informal reception at 5:15 pm in that room. Anyone interested in talking with the speaker, or being added to the colloquium announcement email list, should contact the colloquium organizer. Lunch will normally be reserved for the speaker to talk to graduate students. Anyone asking a question during a talk is asked to raise their hand and be acknowledged before speaking.

Colloquium Organizer: Prof. Richard Mushotzy


Special accommodations for individuals with disabilities can be made by calling (301) 405-3001. It would be appreciated if we are notified at least one week in advance.


Directions and information about parking can be found here.

This page was automatically generated on: 21-Sep-2019.