A lecture by Professor Haley Gomez
Dust contains roughly half the heavy elements in the interstellar medium today, and is responsible for obscuring almost half of the energy emitted by stars since the Big Bang. This light is re-emitted in a region of the electromagnetic spectrum that was, until recently, relatively unexplored.
The Herschel Space Observatory, launched in 2009, provided a unique opportunity to resolve this by directly tracing the total mass of dust in more than half a million galaxies. This has allowed us to survey the peak of the dust emission in galaxies both near and far, providing a census of dust in galaxies throughout cosmic time. Professor Gomez will cover some of the highlights from Herschel’s surveys of galaxies and its revealing of where dust is made in the universe.