Thursday 16th November 2023 Dying Stars Seeding the Universe

The Caroline Herschel Prize Lecture 2023

7.00 pm Thursday 16th November 2023 at the 10E 0.17 Lecture Theatre, University of Bath and online via Zoom

Dr Marie van der Sande
University of Leiden

Dr Marie Van de Sande discusses why a multidisciplinary approach is necessary in understanding how stars like our sun die.

Astrochemistry is a vibrant and interdisciplinary field that brings together astronomy, physics, and chemistry. While there is an enormous effort in understanding the chemistry of stellar birth and youth, the chemistry of stellar death is as important: the death throes of sun-like stars enrich the galaxy with fresh material to form the next generation of stars and planets by losing their outer layers by means of a gentle outflow. The presence of a companion star or planet is thought to produce intricate structures within the outflow, giving rise to the beautiful shapes of planetary nebulae, the later stage in the star’s life and an important part of Caroline Herschel’s surveys. This opens up the question of the fate of our own Solar System. To understand exactly how stars like our Sun die and how they are recycled into the next generation of stars and planets, a multidisciplinary approach is necessary, with astrochemistry playing a leading role.”

Background of Speaker

Dr Marie Van de Sande is an Oort Fellow at Leiden Observatory at Leiden University, the Netherlands. She studies the chemistry around dying sun-like stars by developing novel chemical models and comparing their results to observations. Marie obtained her PhD in 2018 from KU Leuven (Belgium), where she stayed on as a fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). She moved to the University of Leeds as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow in 2021 and relocated to Leiden in September this year.”

The video recording of the lecture is freely available here.

The Caroline Herschel Prize Lectureship was established in 2018 by what is now the Herschel Society, in association with the Royal Astronomical Society, to celebrate Caroline’s memory by supporting promising women astronomers early in their careers. Caroline, William’s younger sister, started out as his assistant, but in time became recognised as an important astronomer in her own right, was the first to be paid as such, and was awarded the RAS Gold Medal in 1828. The Caroline Herschel Prize Lecture is hosted by University of Bath in November in cooperation with the Society as part of the University’s public lecture series. Charles Draper, Chairman, Herschel Society.