Making Life from Stardust
Our solar system was born from a dark and cold cloud made out of gas and small dust particles. Thanks to powerful telescopes, we can now study these clouds in detail, their chemical ingredients and their evolution. We can then reconstruct our origins. Astronomer Paola Caselli presents a journey through space and time starting from interstellar clouds and ending with our solar system. The dawn of organic molecules, the formation of stars and planets and the first steps towards life will be unveiled.
Paola Caselli has been Director of the Center for Astrochemical Studies at the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics since 2014. Before this appointment, she was researcher at the Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Florence) until 2005, Visiting Scholar in the Department of Astronomy, Harvard University until 2007, and Professor of Astronomy at the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds until 2014. She is using interstellar molecules to find how stars and planets form.
The Kapteyn Astronomical Institute organizes the yearly Blaauw Lecture, in collaboration with Studium Generale. This is a lecture by an internationally renowned astronomer which everyone, including the general public, can attend. The Blaauw chair and Blaauw lecture were initiated in 1997 as one of six visiting professorships in the Faculty of Science and Engineering.