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Published on Oct 19, 2012
"Galaxy Collisions, Star Formation and Galactic Evolution" Dr. Christine Wilson - Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University
The astronomical research of the next decade will focus on understanding the origins of planets, stars, galaxies, and even the universe itself. Millimeter-wave radio astronomy is a novel and crucial tool in this quest for origins, because it allows us to probe into the cold, dark regions of space where many of these formation processes occur. This talk will illustrate the promise and potential of these techniques by examining spectacular galaxy collisions that have triggered intense bursts of star formation, as well as new results which shed light on the more quiescent star formation which is the norm in galaxies like our own Milky Way. In addition, the talk will describe how new facilities currently under construction, such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), promise a revolution in our understanding of the origin of structure in the universe.