Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Water in space: from interstellar clouds to planet-forming disks (14th Annual Greenstein Lecturer)
Ewine van Dishoeck, Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands & Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching
Water is one of the most important molecules in regions in which new stars and planets are born, and is clearly associated with our own origins. In this lecture, an overview will be presented of the wealth of water data obtained with new infrared and submillimeter observatories that allow us to peer deeply into these highly obscured regions. In particular, the 'Water in Star-forming Regions with Herschel' (WISH) Key Program has obtained a comprehensive set of gaseous water spectra toward a large sample of well-characterized protostars, from the lowest to the highest mass sources and from pre-stellar cores to disks around pre-main sequence stars. The data elucidate the physical processes responsible for the warm gas, probe dynamical processes associated with forming stars and planets (outflow, infall, expansion), test basic gas-grain processes, and reveal the chemical evolution of water and the oxygen-reservoir into planet-forming disks, comets and eventually Earth's oceans. The importance of a close interplay between astronomy and laboratory astrophysics is emphasized.
This talk is presented on behalf of the entire WISH team. More details can be found at http://www.strw.leidenuniv.nl/WISH.