This Week’s Discoveries | 27 November 2018
- Tuesday 27 November 2018
Niels Bohrweg 2
2333 CA Leiden
- De Sitterzaal
Water: from clouds to planet-forming disks
Ewine F. van Dishoeck (Leiden Observatory)
Ewine is professor of Molecular astrophysics at Leiden Observatory. She researches molecules in space. She has gained world fame with her pioneering work. Her current passion is the hunt for water and the water cycle in space. This will provide answers to questions such as: where does the water in our rivers come from? And: could there be life on other planets?
Water is universally accepted as essential for the potential habitability of planets elsewhere in the Universe. Water in gaseous form also acts as a coolant that allows interstellar clouds to collapse to form stars, whereas water ice facilitates the sticking of small dust particles that eventually must grow to planetesimals and planets. Understanding the formation of water in space and its transportation from clouds to disks and planets is therefore of fundamental importance in astrophysics. This brief talk will summarize combined observational, theoretical and laboratory work on the formation of water in tenuous interstellar clouds and its subsequent evolution. Is Earth's water indeed older than the Sun?