Jose Cernicharo (CSIC/INTA, Spain)
Thursday March 5th - 11am
IPAG Seminar Room - IPAG
Evolved stars are the factories of cosmic dust. This dust is made of tiny grains that are injected into the interstellar medium and plays a key role in the evolution of astronomical objects from galaxies to the embryos of planets. However, the fundamental processes involved in dust formation and evolution are still a mystery.
The aim of the NANOCOSMOS project is to take advantage of the new generation telescopes and simulation experiments to progress in our understanding of the dust formation zone in evolved stars. The analysis of the astronomical observations will involve modelling, and top-level experiments to produce stardust analogues in the laboratory and identify the key species and steps that govern the formation of dust.
To achieve this goal, NANOCOSMOS gathers a multidisciplinary team composed of astronomers, vacuum and microwave engineers, molecular and plasma physicists, surface scientists, including both experimentalists and theoreticians. This contribution will describe the organization scheme of NANOCOSMOS and the current experimental and instrumental developments including the Stardust machine, the new astronomical receivers and the Molecular Analyzer.
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