Organics and Water in Space: The Spectroscopic Legacy of the Herschel Space Observatory
When: June 3, 2013 11AM PDT
The Herschel Space Observatory, an ESAcornerstone mission with NASA participation, has just completed its 3.5 year mission. I will briefly outline the overall capabilities of Herschel which has both phometric and spectroscopic coverage from 63 to 610 microns. Herschel offers unprecedented sensitivity as well as continuous spectral coverage across the gaps imposed by the atmosphere, opening up a largely unexplored wavelength regime to high resolution spectroscopy. This focus will broadly address results from several observational programs. In this talk I will first describe a selection of Herschel’s efforts to explore the origins of chemical complexity in space.
I will summarize the power of Herschel where we have detected over 40,000 molecular lines in a single spectrum. This information directly exposes the molecules tracing cold regions far from the star and the organic factory in close
proximity toward the young star. I will argue that these latter
organics are potentially important as they will provide the foundation for the developent of complexity in the planet-forming disk. If time allows I will also discuss several efforts that use deuterium-bearing isotopes of hydrogen and water to trace the origin of Earth’s oceans and set new constraints on the uncertain mass available to form planetary systems.
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