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Gas and Dust from the Stars to the Laboratory: Exploring the NanoCosmos

Objective

Evolved stars are the factories of interstellar dust. This dust is injected into the interstellar medium and plays a key role in the evolution of astronomical objects from galaxies to the embryos of planets. However, the processes involved in dust formation and evolution are still a mystery. The increased angular resolution of new generation telescopes, will provide for the first time a detailed view of the conditions in the dust formation zone of evolved stars, as shown by our first observations with ALMA.

We propose to combine astronomical observations, modelling, and top-level experiments to produce star dust analogues in the laboratory and identify the key species and steps that govern their formation. We will build two innovative setups: the Stardust chamber to simulate the atmosphere of evolved stars, and the gas evolution chamber to identify novel molecules in the dust formation zone. We will also improve existing laboratory setups and combine different techniques to achieve original studies on individual dust grains, their processing to produce complex polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the chemical evolution of grain precursors and how dust grains interact with abundant astronomical molecules. Our simulation chambers will be equipped with state-of-the-art in situ and ex situ diagnostics.

Our astrophysical models, improved by the interplay between observations and laboratory studies, will provide powerful tools for the analysis of the wealth of data provided by the new generation of telescopes. In addition, new broad-band state-of-the-art High Electron Mobility Transistor receivers will be built, allowing us to perform an unprecedented astronomical survey of evolved stars and providing an invaluable legacy for any scientist in the field. The synergy between astronomers, vacuum and microwave engineers, molecular and plasma physicists, surface scientists, and theoreticians in NANOCOSMOS is the key to provide a cutting-edge view of cosmic dust.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/fossil energy/gas
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/organic chemistry/hydrocarbons
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/planetary science/planets
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/embryology

Call for proposal

ERC-2013-SyG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SyG - Synergy grant

Lead Principal Investigator

José Cernicharo Quintanilla (Prof.)

Host institution

AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Spain
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 7 723 339,26
Principal investigator
José Cernicharo Quintanilla (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Guillermo Sanjuanbenito Garcia (Mr.)

Beneficiaries (5)

AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 7 723 339,26
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Principal investigator
José Cernicharo Quintanilla (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Guillermo Sanjuanbenito Garcia (Mr.)
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
France
EU contribution
€ 4 193 203
Address
Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Patrick Mounaud (Mr.)
CENTRO NACIONAL DE INFORMACION GEOGRAFICA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 2 250 487,26
Address
General Ibanez De Ibero 3
28003 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Emilio López Romero (Mr.)
UNIVERSIDAD DE VALLADOLID
Spain
EU contribution
€ 633 620,68
Address
Plaza Santa Cruz 8 Palacio De Santa Cruz
47002 Valladolid
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Calvo Conde Yolanda (Mrs.)
UNIVERSIDAD DE CASTILLA - LA MANCHA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 182 610,80
Address
Calle Altagracia 50
13071 Ciudad Real
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
María Llanos Carrión Varela (Ms.)