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Astrochemistry is a new and exciting branch of astronomy, where astronomers use molecules to help them understand the Universe. We will hear from two astronomers, one who uses astrochemistry in space, and another who recreates the conditions of space in the lab.
Ashes to Ashes: from dying stars to life on Earth
Dr Marie Van de Sande (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow)
We're all made of stardust. Most of the atoms in our bodies were forged in stars that died millions of years ago. As stars die, they expel their life’s work into space. They do this by dramatically exploding as a supernova or via a gentle stellar outflow (the fate of our Sun). Besides atoms, the death throes of stars also produce dust particles. These flecks of soot and tiny sand grains are the building blocks of new stars and planets. By following the dust from a dying star into a new planet and studying its exotic chemistry along the way, we can try to understand the origins of life on Earth
Astrochemistry: if we can not go there then we will remake it in the lab
Dr Théo Guillaume (Post-doc)
Astrochemistry is about the chemistry happening far away from Earth. It aims to understand the formation of molecules in complex and varying systems, such as planetary atmospheres. To understand the inner mechanics of these environments scientists use observations of these objects and construct models to simulate them. These models are filled with physico-chemical parameters describing the phenomena taking place in these environments. I will present how scientists recreate the conditions found in astronomical objects on Earth and how chemistry is studied under these conditions.
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