STRW local: Colloquia


Exploring the Complex Chemistry of Young Solar Systems

Date: 03-04-2019
Time: 15:30 h
Author: Jes Jørgensen

Low-mass stars like our Sun are formed in the centers of dark clouds. Deep astronomical observations at infrared and submillimeter wavelengths are uniquely suited to probe the material close to stars in their earliest stages and unravel the physical and chemical processes taking place there. From an observational point of view, a tremendous step forward has been taken over the last few years with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). This has revealed a rich chemistry with complex organic, even prebiotic, molecules present in the gas in which these stars and disks are embedded. At the same time advances in numerical simulations are pushing us toward a more dynamic scenario for star formation. The question therefore remains: what is the link between the complex chemistry and what is the physical evolution of young stars and their disks during their earliest stages? In this talk, I will present some of our most recent results on the origin of complex molecules around young stars from our large ALMA Protostellar Interferometric Line Survey (PILS). We have detected a number of new species in the ISM with our survey, including molecules of importance for prebiotic chemistry. This gives us new insights into the link between protostars in the earliest stages of their evolution to our own Solar System. Additionally, I will discuss observational and numerical results shedding new light on the link between chemical and physical evolution of embedded protostars, including the critical role of the formation and early growth of the protoplanetary disks. Here I will highlight the importance of molecular astrophysics in studies of the fundamental processes taking place during the earliest stages of young solar systems.