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  • Toner Stevenson

Dust: wipe it or keep it, it's ubiquitous

Presented by Dr Tayyabar Zafar on Monday 2 May, 6:30pm.

One percent of the material in interstellar space is in the form of tiny dust particles that regulate the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets. Interstellar dust affects every astronomical observation by absorbing and scattering starlight. Dust, together with gas, forms stars in galaxies and gives birth to planets. Only dust is in the form of condensed matter in the universe. Dust is critical in the processes of star and planet formation; it also impedes our view of the heavens by absorbing optical and ultraviolet light and re-radiating it at infrared wavelengths. Dust originates from the death of stars where a parent star creates elements during its lifetime and explode or blow off its enriched outer layers at the end of its life. The cold and dusty sites in the universe provide seeds for the formation of stellar nurseries, which give rise to star formation.


Dr Tayyaba Zafar is a Lecturer and astronomer at the Australian Astronomical Optics, Macquarie University. She studies dust, gas and metals in the interstellar media of distant galaxies. Tayyaba has an extensive network and she is dedicated to collaborating with the astronomical community to work on defining the exciting the science for the upcoming instruments on telescopes around the world.

Prior to the keynote Skywatchers members will also present their observations of the Sun by Monty Leventhal OAM and an update on astronomical websites by Craig McIlveen.

The keynote presentation usually starts around 7pm.

This event will be on Zoom, links are sent to members. Not a member? contact our secretary on - you can be a guest for up to two meetings, after which you will be asked to join our society.



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