SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, January 20, 2012
Mineralogy of Astrophysical Environments From IR to UV Spectra
Dr. Anne Hofmeister
Outer space is mostly, but not entirely empty. In the vast spaces between the stars float wispy traces of different types of gas and very small specks of dust. All but the hydrogen and helium gases are the product of stars that died hundreds of millions of years ago. Dr. Hofmeister will talk about the nature of this material and about the instruments that reveal its composition and history. Some of these instruments record the visible light given off by the interstellar clouds. Other instruments detect invisible radiation – “light” with too much energy or too little energy to be sensed directly by human eyes.
Anne Hofmeister a Research Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University. Her primary research interests involve the transport of heat deep within the Earth and other planets, and also the study of the dusty material found around some stars and between all stars. She conducts experiments at high pressures and temperatures to help map the changes in mineral structure and to model the flow of rock within the Earth’s mantle. She uses telescope and satellite data to study the properties of interstellar material lying many trillions of miles from the Earth.
St. Louis University
COPPER is Saint Louis University's first student satellite in development since 2009 by over
30 students, and is due for launch in December 2012. COPPER has two missions: to test out a
new low-cost infrared camera in Low Earth Orbit, and to help improve the modeling of radiation
effects on modern space electronics.