Scientific Colloquium
February 15, 2008

"The Wave(length)s of the Future:  Observing Star and Planet Formation with ALMA and Herschel"

A major new discovery frontier in astrophysics is opening due to the relatively new capability of telescopes and detectors to reach into far-infrared, submillimeter, and millimeter wavelengths.  Two major such observatories are set to lead the way in the near future, peering deep into the hidden cores of dense interstellar clouds where young stars are forming, and revealing the structure, composition, and dynamics of those fertile zones around young stars where planets are likely to form and thrive.  I will discuss the the new capabilities we will have and the discoveries we are poised to make with ALMA, a ground-based millimeter-wavelength telescope array under construction in Chile, and with the Herschel Space Observatory, an ESA space telescope to launch within a year, with NASA partnership.   Recent exciting discoveries of infant stars and extra-solar planetary systems using current facilities set the framework for breakthroughs with these two new complementary observatories. 

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