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Wednesday 23 Mar 2016Seminar: Disentangling interstellar dust

Dr Stuart Sale - University of Exeter

Physics, 4th floor 14:00-15:00

The ISM plays a critical role in the Universe. New stars and planets condense out of it and it affects the evolution of galaxies, whilst the ISM is, in turn, permeated by detritus from dead and dying stars. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, offers us a unique perspective on the ISM: we are able to observe in detail features and processes which are inaccessible in any other galaxy. However, our very location, embedded within the Galaxy, makes it fundamentally challenging to understand the Galactic ISM.

I will discuss the challenges associated with unravelling observations of dust in the ISM that integrate over a range of distances and environments. In particular, I will focus on mapping the 3d distribution of dust extinction across the Galaxy and extracting the temperature distribution of dust in and around molecular clouds.

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