Monday, April 14, 2008

Seminar: Cosmic Recycling Center Apr 17th ASU

Seminar: Matter Between the Stars

There is an upcoming seminar on ASU's Tempe Campus
which may interest your organization. Feel free to forward
this to your members.

Title: Cosmic Recycling Center: Matter Between
the Stars (see below for abstract)
Speaker: Dr Helene Dickel (see below for bio)
Date: Thur April 17th
Location: PS 152
Refreshments: 5:30 pm
Seminar: 6:00 pm
Audience: General public

Seminar Abstract
The space between the stars is not a perfect vacuum but contains
a small amount of hydrogen plus various contaminating atoms and
molecules. This material is collected into giant cloud complexes.
Although typical densities are only a few particles per cubic centimeter,
the volumes are so vast that the clouds often contain several thousand
times the mass of the sun. Such regions are continually in violent activity -
material in some spots is contracting to create brand new stars, other clouds
are bursting apart at thousands of kilometers per second from the sites of
exploding stars, and many areas are being heated and disturbed by the
excitation of starlight and interstellar shock waves. We shall describe the
results of recent research which is beginning to see order in this chaos: old
stars throw off heavy elements which block energy transfer, enhancing the
process of star formation. The new stars in turn excite their surroundings
and eventually spew their material back into the interstellar medium to
complete the cycle.

Speaker Biography
Dr. Hélène R. Dickel received her A.B. in mathematics from Mount Holyoke
College in 1959 and her Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Michigan
in 1964. She is currently an Emerita Research Professor of Astronomy at the
University of Illinois and an Adjunct Professor in the Physics and Astronomy
Department of the University of New Mexico. She co-discovered the first
formaldehyde maser in 1979 and is a pioneer in radio molecular spectroscopy
using radio aperture synthesis techniques, including making some of the first
images of molecular distributions with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio
Telescope in the Netherlands, the Very Large Array of Radio Telescopes
of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, and the millimeter array of the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association. She is now involved with the Long
Wavelength Array project of the University of New Mexico. Prof. Dickel is
the author of over 100 publications. Recent research includes radiative
transfer modeling of star-forming regions.

Terri, Events Coordinator
Phoenix Astronomical Society