Frontiers Lecture: The Golden Age of Star Formation main content.

Frontiers Lecture: The Golden Age of Star Formation

Part of Frontiers Lectures

Monday, April 8, 2019


Join Astrophysics Curator Mordecai-Mark Mac Low on a journey from the birth of the very first stars to the formation of our own Sun and solar system in the Milky Way galaxy. Explore the golden age of star formation 10 billion years ago, when stars were forming at ten times the rate today. See the planet-forming disks revealed by the high-resolution radio telescope ALMA, and learn where to look for newly forming stars in the night sky.

Meet the Presenter

Headshot of Mordecai-Mark Mac Low

Mordecai-Mark Mac Low

Dr. Mac Low's work focuses on understanding the formation of planets, stars, and galaxies. Working with students and colleagues, he has developed numerical models at different physical scales to attack these problems. At the smallest scales, he is studying the formation in protoplanetary disks of the millimeter-sized glassy beads known as chondrules that form half the mass of the most primitive Solar System meteorites. Still within these disks, he studies the formation of planetesimals from rocks, and the migration of planets through the gas disk. At scales of less than one light year, he has simulated the behavior of self-gravitating, supersonic, magnetized turbulence to understand the formation of the dense cloud cores in which protostars are observed, and has modeled the expansion of ionized regions in such turbulence.  At scales of hundreds to thousands of light years, he is studying the influence of multiple supernova explosions on the interstellar gas, and how clouds of star-forming molecular gas form.  Finally, at the galactic scale of tens of thousands of light years, he studies the large-scale formation of stars in galaxies. 

Support for Hayden Planetarium Programs is provided by the Schaffner Family and the Horace W. Goldsmith Endowment Fund.

Select Hayden Planetarium Programs are sponsored by JetBlue.