Is our existence written in cosmic dust?

Today the recognized and well-known Professor in astrophysics Anja C. Andersen from Niels Bohr Instituttet in Copenhagen paid us a visit in D-IAS and gave a qualified overview of how we understand the evolution of the universe and our own existence through the study of cosmic dust.

By Susanne Siig Petersen

Professor Anja C. Andersen is an astrophysics researching in planets at the Dark Cosmology Centre at KU – but she is also the first official Professor of public communication of science in Denmark. That is why Anja C. Andersen today addressed why she believes research integrity is possibly the most valuable ingredient for credible public engagement.

A cosmic lecture

Cosmic dust plays a huge role in the appearance of the universe, reprocessing fully half of all non-primordial radiation, fundamentally altering our view of nearly every cosmic phenomenon. Dust is vital to the formation of planets and molecules and plays a fundamental role in nearly all star-formation. Yet it’s properties and it’s origin are still poorly understood.

We do not understand the properties of dust in extinction or emission, though we are making rapid progress. However, it is not fully explained how large dust masses in the early universe are formed, whether through cool stars, supernovae or the interstellar medium.

Anja C. Andersen gave an overview of how we understand the evolution of the universe and our own existence through the study of cosmic dust.

Watch the whole lecture: “Cosmic dust and the joy of science” in this video:

Read more about Professor Anja C. Andersens background here

 

She has also made a science cartoon – you can see and read it (in Danish) right here: