Archivi tag: ISM

Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium

The ISM represents a fascinating laboratory to study the physics of highly attenuated gases, chemical processes and atomic, molecular and solid state physics under extreme conditions and numerous other questions of natural sciences. The physics of the ISM plays a crucial role in many areas of astronomy. Galaxy formation and evolution, the formation of stars, cosmic nucleosynthesis, the origin of large complex, prebiotic molecules and the abundance, structure and growth of dust grains which constitute the fundamental building blocks of planets, all these processes are intimately coupled to the physics of the ISM. New observations with powerful telescopes have revealed that the ISM is a turbulent, multiphase gas, filled with structures on all resolvable spatial scales. This has lead to a paradigm shift in our understanding of the ISM, where the old equilibrium model is being replaced by a highly dynamical picture of strongly coupled, interacting and turbulently mixed gas phases that are far from equilibrium and that are continuously stirred by processes that are not well understood. We enter an era where for the first time enough information is available to gain a deep and comprehensive physical understanding of the ISM and the dynamical processes that govern its evolution.

Many physical processes in the ISM have been studied in isolation and under idealized conditions. It is however their nonlinear coupling that fully characterizes the structure and evolution of the multi-phase, dynamically evolving ISM. Therefore, the first funding period of the ISM-SPP ( is dedicated to the investigation of the interplay between various processes in the ISM. In this conference, we aim at (i) summarizing the recent progress and isolating the open questions as well as (ii) bringing together experts from all three research pillars (laboratory studies, observations as well as theory and computations) in order to form a consistent picture of relevant physical processes in the ISM.

In this first conference in a series organised by the DFG priority program 1573 “The Physics of the Interstellar Medium” ( we will concentrate on the following questions:

  • Which are the drivers of turbulence in the ISM and how does turbulence affect the morphology and the energy of the ISM on different scales?
  • What is the intrinsic structure of molecular clouds?
  • How do molecular clouds form and evolve?
  • How do interstellar dust grains and molecules form and evolve in the ISM and how do they affect physical processes in the ISM?
  • How do stars interact with and shape the multi-phase ISM?
  • How are the processes in the ISM affected by magnetic fields?
  • How are cosmic rays accelerated in the ISM, and how do cosmic rays affect interstellar structure?

CASCA 2013

The Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) will be having its annual meeting for 2013 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, hosted by UBC Physics & Astronomy. The conference runs Tuesday May 28 through Thursday May 30. There is no specific theme for this CASCA meeting but it will feature new and exciting results from many areas of astronomical research!! Everyone is welcome. There will be general sessions on solar system, compact objects, stars, ISM, galaxies, instrumentation and education. General conference information (including the schedule, maps, restaurant information, and more) is available for download here. Your conference package will contain a hard copy of a shortened version of this document

ESLAB 2013: The Universe as seen by Planck

The objective of the conference is to present and discuss the initial science results from Planck, ESA’s mission to map the anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background. It is the first scientific forum where these results will be addressed, following Planck’s first major release of data products and scientific papers in early 2013. It will cover both cosmology (based on analysis of the Cosmic Microwave Background) and astrophysics (based on analysis of foreground emission sources). The Planck satellite was launched on 14 May 2009, and has been surveying the sky continuously since August 2009. The nominal duration of the mission was completed in November of 2010, but Planck still continues to gather data. Data processing has been progressing and a first set of cosmological-grade data products will be released to the astronomical community in early 2013. These products will consist mainly of temperature maps of the whole sky at nine frequencies between 30 GHz and 857 GHz, which allow us to extract a map of the temperature anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background, as well as maps of many astrophysical foregrounds. The latter most importantly include synchrotron, free-free and dust emission from the Milky Way, radio and far-infrared emission from external galaxies, the characteristic signatures due to the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect in clusters of galaxies, and the Cosmic Infrared Background. The Planck data therefore provide for an extremely broad range of cosmological and astrophysical science.

More info: ESLAB 2013

The Next Generation CFHT: A 10m, Wide-Field, Spectroscopic Telescope for the Coming Decade

For over 30 years the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and its international community have developed innovative capabilities to support advanced research. CFHT was among the first on Mauna Kea to develop a facility class adaptive optics system, multi-object and integral field spectrographs, and wide field panoramic imagers. Today we look to a future that builds upon our past, including the possibility of replacing the current 3.6 m telescope with a 10 m facility dedicated to wide field spectroscopy. If pursued, the next-generation CFHT (ngCFHT) would re-use the existing facility except for the telescope and dome, which would be replaced. While this concept is in infancy from a technical development perspective, considerable work has been completed in defining the science objectives for such a facility and we look forward to hosting members of the international astronomy community in Hawaii to discuss ngCFHT.

More information on ngCFHT is available at: The Next Generation CFHT, A Study