Thursday, December 27, 2012
Order from Chaos: The Birth of the Solar System
The solar system formed from a cloud of interstellar gas and dust cloud about 4.6 billion years ago. Life began on earth about 3.5 billion years ago following a period of intense bombardment by asteroid fragments and comets, intense volcanism and finally development of a stable crust and a hospitable atmosphere. Thanks to more powerful telescopes and other state-of-the-art observational methods, we can now see "stellar nurseries" and young stars at various stages of formation. In this talk well learn what triggers star formation in clouds, circumstellar disks and planet formation within the disks, and well discuss early life on earth.