RASC Regular Meeting, May 9, 2022

Magnetic Fields in Interstellar Clouds:  Getting that Pesky 3rd Dimension!

RASC Regular Meeting, Monday May 9, 2022

7:00 PM (MST), Meet and Greet

7:30 PM (MST), Meeting begins, including guest talk, News from Space, AstroImaging Corner, and other RASC features.

FREE and open to the public.

Join this meeting using this Zoom link.

Guest Speaker:

Dr. René Plume

Magnetic Fields in Interstellar Clouds:  Getting that Pesky 3rd Dimension!

Spitzer Space telescope image of star Formation in the Rho Ophiuchus Molecular cloud – Image from ASA/JPL-Caltech/L. Allen (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Magnetic fields are pervasive in space; spanning scales that are Galaxy-sized down to those of individual stars and planets.  While magnetic fields are believed to be important drivers of a number of physical processes, in this talk I am going to focus on the role that magnetic fields play on intermediate scales – those of parsec sized interstellar clouds.  New stars and planets form in these interstellar clouds, and magnetic fields are believed to help control their formation and evolution, and the scale at which they can fragment and collapse into stars and planetary systems. Measuring magnetic fields in star forming interstellar clouds, however, is challenging.   In this talk I will discuss how we can measure magnetic fields in interstellar clouds – starting with the 2 dimensional view, and then describe a new technique (devised by my research group at the University of Calgary) to obtain a full 3D picture of the magnetic fields in star forming clouds.
Prof. René Plume was born at C.F.B Cold Lake (AB) and, in his youth, lived all over Canada as part of a military family. He received his IB degree from the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific in 1985, his BSc in Astrophysics from the University of Toronto in 1989, and his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995.  Following graduation, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University and worked on the SWAS mission at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre.  In 2001 he was hired as an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at the University of Calgary and was promoted to Full Professor in 2012.  His research interests focus on the physics and chemistry of gas in our own Galaxy, particularly as they relate to the formation of stars and planets.

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