Cosmic dust - from stars to climate

This lecture will explore the origins of cosmic dust in the solar system, its impacts on the Earth’s atmosphere and its role as an indicator of rapid climate change.

What is cosmic dust and what are its effects on the Earth’s atmosphere?
What was the cultural impact of German music in London and New York in the early 1900s?
What is the true effect of Polyphenols in our diet?

These are just some examples of the broad range of challenging questions being tackled by European Research Council grant-holders at the University of Leeds. A new public lecture series as part of the ERC=Science² project will, for the first time, open up this research to the public, giving a unique insight into the cutting edge thinking being applied to global issues via prestigious EU funding grants here at Leeds.

Lecture 1: Cosmic Dust – From Stars to Climate
Speaker: Professor John Plane, School of Chemistry, University of Leeds

This lecture will showcase the research undertaken through the CODITA ERC Advanced Grant project, exploring the origins of cosmic dust and its impacts on the Earth’s atmosphere.

Topics covered will include: the generation of dust around dying giant stars; formation of new stars and planets; comets and asteroids as the current source of dust around the Earth; and the challenge of determining the quantity of cosmic dust that enters the Earth’s atmosphere each day. Significant impacts of dust include: the formation of metallic layers which affect radio communications to space; “night-shining” clouds which are an early warning of climate change; the freezing of ice clouds in the stratosphere which deplete the ozone layer; and fertilization of the ocean around Antarctica by cosmic iron.

The lectures are free to attend but registration is required. Please book your place on the Eventbrite page. If schools would like to make a group booking please contact Anna Harrold directly.