NANOCOSMOS: a project led by the CAB obtains the highest European funding
20-12-2013

The European Research Council (ERC) awards a Synergy Grant to the NANOCOSMOS project led by researchers from the Center for Astrobiology (CSIC-INTA).

The European Research Council (ERC) grants a Synergy Grant to the NANOCOSMOS project led by researchers from the Center for Astrobiology (CSIC-INTA)
José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Research professor at the CSIC at the Center for Astrobiology (CAB, CSIC-INTA), Christine Joblin, Director of Research at the CNRS (France) at the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP-OMP and Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse) and José Ángel Martín Gago, Research Professor at the CSIC at the Materials Science Institute of Madrid (ICMM) ) have obtained one of the Synergy Grants of the 2013 call granted by the European Research Council (ERC), a European organization that supports and finances research of multidisciplinary excellence at the frontier of knowledge.

The t Researchers lead the NANOCOSMOS project, "Gas and Dust from the Stars to the Laboratory: Exploring the NANOCOSMOS" funded with 15 million euros by the ERC over a period of six years. The project will try to solve some of the mysteries related to how the nanoparticles that make up interstellar dust grains are formed and which are the fundamental processes that give rise to chemical complexity both on Earth and in space. To achieve these objectives, the teams will combine their experience in Astronomy, Laboratory Astrophysics, Molecular Physics, Surface Science, Plasma Physics, Quantum Chemistry and Engineering.

NANOCOSMOS will design and build a capable machine for the first time of producing analogs of interstellar dust grains emulating the physical and chemical conditions of the outer layers of the evolved stars. The properties of the obtained dust samples will be studied through advanced techniques of material science and spectroscopy. Simultaneously, radio astronomy observations will be made using the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array) potential, with its 66 high precision antennas, which will allow to scrutinize the molecular composition and the associated chemical processes in the zone of formation of dust grains around evolved stars. These data, complemented with observations in the optical and infrared, will allow to characterize completely the composition of the gas and the physical conditions that give rise to the formation of the nuclei of the dust grains in evolved stars and in the material ejected in the explosions of supernovas, and their subsequent growth by accretion of molecules. These grains are those that will later form rocky planets such as Earth.

NANOCOSMOS will have important repercussions in the world of Astrophysics, Nanoscience, Surface Chemistry, both scientifically and technologically, and will also have a huge impact about our current vision of the Universe.

 

Fuente: UCC-CAB

 

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