Star Formation Then and Now

November 1, 2018
Phillips Auditorium

Stars are of fundamental importance to astronomy, and how they form and shape their environments influence everything from exoplanet studies to cosmology. Stars form in heavily obscured molecular clouds, and understanding the initial conditions of star formation persists as one of the leading challenges of contemporary astrophysics. In this talk, I will build bridges between local, extragalactic, and cosmic star formation, focusing first on the role of atomic gas in the formation of molecular clouds in the Milky Way and, secondly, on the properties of molecular clouds in dwarf galaxies — excellent laboratories for star formation in different environments — observed with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array. I will also explore the cosmological implications of stardust, proposing theoretical models for dust in high-redshift galaxies and in the intergalactic medium.

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