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Meeting with speaker on the topic: The Great Cosmic Barbeque: Laboratory Spectroscopy and Extraterrestrial Chemistry

Speaker: Tyler Troy, University of Sydney/ASNSW
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping

Abstract: Extraterrestrial chemistry was long believed to be limited to reactions involving simple molecules with only two or three atoms. It was reasoned that large molecules were unlikely to form in the harsh radiation fields pervasive throughout solar systems and the interstellar medium. Today, the rich collaboration between observational astronomers and laboratory-based experimentalists have revealed the spectral signatures of a rich assortment of sometimes strange and exotic molecules.

Despite these impressive findings, significant problems still remain. Of particular interest are a series of nearly 400 absorption features referred to as the Diffuse Interstellar Bands observed in the spectra of stars reddened by dust scattering. Despite nearly a century of research efforts, the chemical systems carrying these features remain unknown.

In this talk, I will present the leading research aimed at closing-in on the nature of these carriers. This will include a discussion on what these findings might teach us about stellar evolution and its possible contribution to life on earth.

Biography: Tyler Troy recently completed his PhD in the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney where he now continues to progress a research program aimed at understanding the nature of extraterrestrial chemistry.

Event Date: 
Friday, 25 May, 2012 - 20:00
Location: 
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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