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2021 Jansky Lecture
Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) have awarded the 2021 Karl G. Jansky Lectureship to Professor Luis F. Rodriguez of the National University of Mexico (UNAM). The Jansky Lectureship is an honor established by the trustees of AUI to recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement of radio astronomy.

Rodriguez is being honored for his significant contributions to the understanding of star formation and X-ray emitting binary star systems, his distinguished career as an educator and popularizer of astronomy, and as a mentor to a generation of radio astronomers.

Dr. Rodriguez will speak on "Jets from Stars in the Making"

The making of new stars takes place inside molecular clouds, where dust obscuration limits the use of the classic techniques of optical astronomy. The study of stellar formation became feasible only when radio and infrared astronomies developed in the second half of the past century. In the 1950s, a new class of bright optical nebula was discovered: the Herbig-Haro (HH) objects. Mysteriously, these nebulae kept on shining without an embedded star to provide the energy. The presently accepted solution to the enigma is that the HH objects are regions shock-excited by jets from remote, embedded young stellar objects. The first observational results in the study of the formation of new stars revealed outflowing motions, in contrast to the expected infalling motions needed for a star to grow in mass from some sort of initial seed. After decades of research we now count with a paradigm that explains this and other paradoxes. Stars do form from the contraction of fragments of the molecular clouds and the process involves simultaneous outflow (traced by the jets) and infall (traced by the protoplanetary disks) motions. We are getting close to a deep understanding of our origins through the study of stellar and planetary formation in space.

Nov 17, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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