Carolin will discuss interstellar space; not truly a vacuum devoid of matter, but inhabited by vast thin clouds of gas and dust that appear as glorious and complex structures. She will showcase some of the most spectacular images of these ‘nebulae’, including many taken with the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. We shall look at them with new eyes, dissecting the pictures and learning how to ‘read’ what they tell us about the turbulent story of the birth and death of stars. Indeed, revealing the science behind the beauty.
Dr Carolin Crawford is an astronomer at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, and a Fellow of Emmanuel College. Her research focuses on the properties of the most massive galaxies in the Universe, using data collected from the largest ground-based and space telescopes. Carolin combines her research and teaching with her other passion – communicating her love of astronomy to as wide an audience as possible. She runs the outreach programme at the Institute of Astronomy, and in addition to giving many talks on a wide range of astronomical topics, is a regular contributor to both national and local radio programmes. In 2009 Carolin was noted as one of the UKRC ’s Women of Outstanding Achievement for the communication of science with a contribution to society. http://www-xray.ast.cam.ac.uk/~csc/