RASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Zeidler Dome
FREE and open to the public.
7:00 PM Meet and Greet
7:30 PM Guest Speaker
Unravelling Star Formation
Stars form in the coldest, densest collections of interstellar gas, called molecular clouds. Observations in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies show that molecular cloud mass is strongly related to the rate stars form. This relationship is rather surprising since it continues over a range of galaxy types and environments, suggesting that stars form through a common process. What controls that process, however, remains elusive. I will present recent observations of molecular clouds taken by new, state-of-the-art radio telescopes that are beginning to unravel the process of star formation. The quality of these observations is an enormous improvement from previous observations and has lead to an on-going revolution in our understanding of star formation.
Eric Koch is a PhD candidate in Physics at the University of Alberta. His research uses radio interferometry to produce high-resolution maps of the gas in nearby galaxies. From these detailed maps, he investigates the origin of molecular gas and its role in forming new generations of stars.