SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, October 19, 2012, 7:30pm
Stellar Dust and Its Message From Outer Space
Dr. Angela Speck, Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Missouri - Columbia
The space between the stars and around the stars is not empty. It contains minute quantities of dust and gas, in some places collected into giant clouds. The gas is primarily hydrogen and helium, the remnants of the Big Bang. There are traces of other gases, as well as particles of dust. The other gases and the dust have been manufactured inside of stars that died millions or billions of years ago. This stellar dust reveals much about the history of the universe and the personal connection humans have to those ancient stars. “The new atoms form dust and molecules in space and are incorporated into new stellar systems, planets, and life,” says Dr. Speck. “Hence, we are all made of stardust.” Dr. Speck will talk about the nature of stellar dust and the ways in which astronomers are decoding the message it sends from distant regions of the Milky Way galaxy.
Dr. Speck is a 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.
Introduction of Officers
Speaker - Angela Speck
Astro 101 - Collimation
Election - Board Member at Large through 2015 position
Nominations - Board Member at Large through 2014 position
Announcements and Upcoming Star Parties