Upcoming talk

Title: Fe-L Edge Spectroscopy of Interstellar Dust
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 | 3:00 - 4:00pm | Room 6-2202


Zack Gainsforth
University of California, Berkeley

Interstellar dust is present between the stars, and is one of the components which constitutes new star systems.  4.57 billion years ago, our own star formed from similar dust.  In recent years, with the availability of cometary samples collected by various NASA missions, we now have an opportunity to directly compare the most primitive dust from our own Solar system with contemporary interstellar dust.

We first locate tiny objects called GEMS (Glass with Embedded Metals and Sulfides) from comets using electron microscopes at the Molecular Foundry.  Then, with the Advanced Light Source we measure the Fe-L edge spectra of these GEMS.  Finally, using a black hole with an accretion disk as an X-ray source and the Chandra X-ray space telescope as our “beamline,” we also obtain Fe-L edge spectra of interstellar dust.  How do they compare?  Come join us to find out.


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