All ingredients to make stars like our Sun and planets like our Earth are present in dense cold interstellar clouds. In these "stellar-system precursors" an active chemistry is already at work, as demonstrated by the presence of a rich variety of organic molecules in the gas phase and icy mantles encapsulating the sub-micrometer dust grains, the building blocks of planets. Here, I’ll present a journey from the earliest phases of star formation to protoplanetary disks, with links to our Solar System, highlighting the...
Ionizing Flux at High-redshift & The Future of Astronomical Conferences
In this split talk, I will be covering two challenging areas of astronomy.
Spectroscopic Confirmation of Ionizing Flux from Individual High-redshift Galaxies
Lyman continuum (LyC) galaxies (LCGs) are a high-redshift population (z ~ 3–5) that exhibit escaping ionizing flux below the Lyman break (< 912 A). This valuable and elusive population of galaxies serve as the closest observable proxies, in redshift and properties, to those...
"From galaxies to faces: recognizing the implications of Artificial Intelligence in astronomy and society"
Abstract: Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to a set of techniques that rely primarily on the data itself for the construction of a quantitative model. AI has arguably been in development for three quarters of a century, but there has been a recent resurgence in research and application. This current (third) wave of AI progress is...
"Learning the properties of our Galaxy with Stellar Streams"
The Galactic halo is criss-crossed by long stellar streams that are probably the remnants of defunct globular clusters and dwarf galaxies. I will present the recent discoveries of these structures including several streams that can be traced back to well known halo features. While streams clearly inform us in a direct way about past accretions onto our Galaxy, their most promising property is that they allow us to measure the Galactic acceleration field and they may possibly allow us to reveal the presence of small-...
"How to find life on exoplanets: Challenges, ideas and adventures"
The first exoplanets orbiting in the temperate, Habitable Zone, have revolutionized the field of the search for life in the cosmos. With their discovery comes the question of how you can tell if there are signs of a life watching remotely. Where should we look in terms of wavelength, host star, planet size and mass - among many other.
"Fundamental Stellar Astrophysics in the Gaia Era: A New Understanding of Local Stellar Populations "
We begin with an overview of the precision stellar astrophysics enabled by the confluence of Gaia parallaxes with large-scale photometric and spectroscopic surveys. We then give examples of the new understanding of local Galactic structure that this has enabled, including in particular the detailed history of canonical star-forming regions, and the discovery of "stellar strings" reflecting the local conditions of recent star formation.
The formation of the first stars - environmental dependence and observational prospects -- The first stars formed a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, starting the transition from the Dark Ages to Recombination. They are out of reach from current and planned facilities, and we rely on numerical methods to understand their properties. In this talk, I will focus on the galaxies that the first stars formed in: minihalos. Two large-scale effects -- Lyman-Werner radiation and streaming velocities -- affect these formation regions. With my large cosmological, hydrodynamical... Read more about ITC Colloquium - Anna Schauer (U Texas Austin)