JUNE 13, 2022 — Angela Speck, professor and chair in the UTSA College of Sciences’ physics and astronomy department, will discuss her findings regarding stardust crystallization today during the semiannual conference of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). This year’s event, which is being held at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California, through June 16, marks the 240th meeting of the AAS.
Entitled “Recalescence during crystallization of stardust: Resolution of the amorphous interstellar medium paradox,” Speck’s presentation examines in-depth details surrounding stardust, including its formation and crystallization.
Stardust contains a wide range of matter necessary for life including carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. When a star dies, these elements are ejected into space and serve as a “fertilizer” for forming new planets and life.
Over the past five years, Speck has been researching how cosmic gas clouds are shaped, and how stardust interacts with energy and light. For instance, a carbon dust grain could be in the form of graphite—think coal or pencil lead—and would absorb light. A diamond dust grain would let light pass through.
Understanding what stardust is made of and its crystal structure is key to unlocking fundamental answers to how stars are born and how they die, contends Speck, who also believes that stardust can reveal other important concepts in the history of the universe. This knowledge may even be applied to solving issues back on Earth.
“Dust seems insignificant, but it impacts any environment in which it exists,” Speck said. “We need to understand precise details about dust to understand its impact.”
Speck has collaborated on this project with Alan Whittington, professor in the college’s earth and planetary sciences department, and Alexander Sehlke from the NASA Ames Research Center.
Roadrunner Walk is a new event UTSA will be hosting for graduates to have their final walk on campus. Roadrunner Walk is an updated version of the Commencement Drive celebration of our graduates. The event will take place in the Paseo along the route from the Convocation Center to the Student Union. Graduates can begin meeting on the sidewalk by Campus Rec at 3:00 pm.Student Union Paseo, Main Campus
Each Fall and Spring, the Honors College hosts our Stole and Laurel Celebration, where students and their support networks gather to celebrate their accomplishments.Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02,) Main Campus
Celebrate the Fall 2022 graduates from the College for Health, Community and Policy, College of Liberal and Fine Arts and College of Sciences.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
Celebrate the Fall 2022 graduates from the Carlos Alvarez College of Business, College of Education and Human Development, Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design and University College.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
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