NOVAC Public Meeting, Dr. Dana Anderson, Investigating the Chemical Ingredients that Make Planets, 3/10/2024, 7:30pm EST


Dr. Dana Anderson from the Carnegie Institution for Science Earth and Planets Laboratory will join us in person to discuss her research exploring how planet-forming gas and dust that surrounds young stars provides insight into the early development of planets and planetary systems, including the Earth and our own solar system.



Studying proto-planetary materials helps us understand where our solar system came from and how it may differ from the wide variety of extrasolar planetary systems that form around other stars across our galaxy. Using astrochemistry, we can learn about how extrasolar planets form, what they are made of, and if they could host Earth-like life by investigating the chemical ingredients that are present during the early stages of planet formation. In this talk, I will present the results of our investigations into the major carriers of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen across a range of planet-forming regions using a combination of computational models and telescope observations. By tracking these chemical elements, we estimate how much proto-planetary material is available for planet formation around a typical young star and how long these materials persist. We also compare the chemical composition of proto-planetary materials to the compositions of fully-formed planets to reveal physical and chemical processes occurring during planet formation and evolution.

In Person Option:

Meet at George Mason University, Exploratory Hall, Room 3301.  Check GMU web site for nearby parking options.  Some lots or garages do charge for parking.  Room will be open as early as 6:45pm.

Join virtually using Google Meet:

Video call link:

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 252-344-1407 PIN: ‪ ‪937 923 741‬#

The online meeting will be available at 7:00 pm for participant open discussion.

Presentation Details:

Talk Title: Investigating the Chemical Ingredients to Make Planets


Dr. Dana Anderson is a postdoctoral researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science Earth and Planets Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Prior to arriving in D.C. in September 2022, Dana did postdoctoral research at the University of Virginia. She earned her B.S. in chemistry and interdisciplinary physics from the University of Michigan and PhD in planetary science from Caltech. Dana’s research focuses on the blending of astronomy and chemistry (“astrochemistry”) and investigating the origins of planets and planetary systems. This fall she will be starting a new position as a faculty member at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

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