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Behind the Dust with the Herschel Space Observatory - the history of star formation in the Universe

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Oliver Normand.

Observations of the cosmic background radiation have shown that roughly half the optical light emitted by everything in the Universe since the Big Bang – stars, galaxies, quasars – has been absorbed by interstellar dust, with the absobed energy then being reradiated in the far-infrared and submillimetre wavebands. Dust is a particular problem for astronomers interested in understanding the births of stars and galaxies because both occur in big clouds of gas and dust, and the birth of stars, in particular, is completely hidden from optical telescopes like Hubble. The Herschel Space Observatory was a far-infrared and submillimetre telescope designed to answer these two fundamental ‘origin questions’. I will describe some of Herschel’s results, starting with the fundamental discoveries that Herschel made about how stars are formed in our galaxy, and then proceeding by way of the Andromeda galaxy out to the very distant Universe where Herschel discovered objects only a billion years after the Big Bang that are almost certainly galaxies in the process of formation.

The talk will be at the usual location of the Wolfson lecture theatre in the Department of Chemistry, shown on the map here: https://map.cam.ac.uk/#52.197868,0.125487,19,52.197816,0.125093

Tickets are £2 or free for members. Annual membership (£7) and life membership (£12) can also be purchased at the event – cash or card. The talk will be followed by refreshments outside the lecture theatre.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Astronomical Society (CUAS) series.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Astronomical Society (CUAS) series.

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