Joan Najita: Formation of Planetary Systems

TUE, MAR 11, 2014 (36:38)

How do solar systems get started? Modern astronomers are still working to figure this out, and there is nothing they like better than a big challenge like this one. Dr. Najita, who is a prominent researcher in this field, discusses why planetary system formation is such a big question. She describes how astronomers investigate the formation of stars, their disks and their planetary systems. And she considers what astronomers are certain about today and why there are still many puzzles.

+ BIO: Joan Najita

Joan Najita, Ph.D., Astronomer and Head of Scientific Staff for User Support at NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab). She is an elected member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a 2021–2022 Daniels Fellow at Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Dr. Najita was formerly the Chief Scientist at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). She has led development of infrared molecular spectroscopy of disks, thermal-chemical models of disk atmospheres, and the synthesis of diverse data sets. In addition to her research, Dr Najita has been a strong advocate for science communication.

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