September 17, 1998 CfA Colloquium

Title: Watching the Interstellar Medium Move

Speaker: Alyssa Goodman

Abstract: Over a half-century ago, when Bart Bok stared at small very black patches on photographs of Galactic star fields, he concluded that they are sites of star formation. Despite having scarcely more information than these photographs to ponder, he came to the right conclusion. Unfortunately, we are not all as good as Bok! Some of us need more information, so we add another dimension to images of the ISM--velocity. This talk will illustrate how adding this "third dimension" illuminates: large scale non-rotational motions within the Milky Way; the triggering of star-formation; how interstellar gas makes its way into a star like the Sun; and more.

Reference for students: The Velocity Structure of the Interstellar Medium Lunch on Friday.