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Pardon our Dust: Infrared Spectroscopy and Interstellar Dust

SETI Institute

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (PDT)

Pardon our Dust: Infrared Spectroscopy and...

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Pardon our Dust: Infrared Spectroscopy and Interstellar Dust

Jean Chiar
SETI Institute

intersteller dust

Interstellar dust grains - small sub-micron-sized particles that pollute the space between the stars - play an important role in the chemistry of the galaxy as well as the star and planet formation process.  We glean most information about dust composition in the interstellar medium from infrared spectroscopy.  The vibration of molecules making up the dust cause light from a background star to be absorbed at very specific frequencies in the infrared portion of the spectrum.   Dust originates in the outflows of old stars and is composed mainly of silicate minerals and carbon particles.   In star formation regions, the silicate grains are covered with icy mantles.  I will give an overview of the nature of these dust and ice components, with emphasis on our current understanding of the cosmic life cycle of these materials.

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When & Where


SETI Institute
189 N Bernardo Ave
Mountain View, CA 94043

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (PDT)


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SETI Institute

The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.

We believe we are conducting the most profound search in human history — to know our beginnings and our place among the stars.

The SETI Institute is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1984 (California Corporation #1261957). The Institute is a scientific and educational organization governed by the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, and the Institute's Federal identification number for reporting and tax purposes is 94-2951356.

The Institute welcomes support from private foundations or other groups/individuals interested in SETI. Each funded effort (135 separate multi-year projects funded since 1984) is supervised by a principal investigator who is responsible to the Board of Trustees for the conduct of the activity.

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Presenting Sponsor (2016): Leonard Tramiel

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Pardon our Dust: Infrared Spectroscopy and Interstellar Dust
Mountain View, CA Events

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