Do, 29.02.2024 14:00

Colloquium: Where it all begins: protostars contain the icy ingredients crucial for the genesis of habitable planets.

Dr. Will Rocha (Laboratory for Astrophysics, Leiden University, NL) will report on latest JWST detections of interstellar ices, their meaning for comets and planet formation, and on new laboratory water ice opacities relevant for JUICE.

Interstellar ices host a large fraction of volatile species, including complex molecules, and ions being part of salts. This material follows the physical evolution of protostars, since its formation and until likely when planets are formed. In my talk, I am going present the latest JWST results from different guaranteed and open programs, with a special focus on protostellar ices. In the first part of the presentation, I will address how JWST improved our knowledge about the chemical complexity of those ices. In particular, I’ll show robust detections of ethanol, acetaldehyde and methyl formate in ices, as well as HCOO- and OCN-, as part of the programme JOYS+ (JWST Observations of Young protoStars). Next, I will present the first results of a protostar in the Early Release Science ICE AGE program, highlighting new detections of N2O and NH3:CO2 which has an important prebiotic implication. All of these molecules can become part of comets and asteroids and eventually, new planetary systems when the icy material is transported inward to the planet-forming disks as the protostellar system evolves. In particular, future missions focused on exoplanets such as ARIEL may depict traces of this chemical heritage in extrasolar planets.

In the second part of my talk, I will focus on the ice science within the solar system. For this, I will present recent laboratory measurements of H2O ice refractive indices between 0.2-20 microns, and how these values can be helpful to interpret data of icy moons in the solar system. In particular, the mission JUICE will probe the chemical composition of Jupiter’s moons with the MAJIS instrument covering spectral ranges between 0.5 and 2.35 microns and 2.28 and 5.56 microns.



IWF Colloquium series

Dr. Will Rocha

29.2.2024, 14.00 Uhr

Jupiter U.a.4  in-person