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SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, August 21, 7:30 pm
McDonnell Hall, Washington University

The Formation of the Solar System


Angela Speck,
Assistant Professor,
University of Missouri - Columbia

The question of origins ? where did we come from, and how did we get here ? has intrigued humans throughout the ages. Today, observations of the very large, paired with observations of the very small, are answering at least part of those questions. Huge Earth-based telescopes and orbiting space telescopes are watching new stars and their young planets evolve. Electron microscopes and other modern research instruments are probing the sub-microscopic structure of meteorites and comet dust, which have multibillion year old origins clues locked inside. Dr. Angela Speck will describe the current understanding of how and when the Sun, the Earth, and the other planets and satellites formed. She will also talk about the new questions that have arisen as scientists seek to discover the details of star and planet building processes.

Dr. Speck is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Missouri - Columbia. She is an infrared astronomer with a wide range of interests that include the life cycles of stars, cosmic dust around evolved stars, the chemical evolution of galaxies, and the structure and composition of meteorites.

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