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Dr. Laurie Rousseau-Nepton

Speaker's Night: SIGNALS: Learning about the Birth of Stars with SITELLE (ONLINE)

Speaker: Dr. Laurie Rousseau-Nepton, Astronomer at CFHT

October 2018 marked the beginning of a new large program at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope: SIGNALS, the Star-formation, Ionized Gas, and Nebular Abundances Legacy Survey. During the past four years and with 60 nights of telescope time in hand, this collaboration has observed more than 50,000 extragalactic star-forming regions located in different galactic environments using the instrument SITELLE, an Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrograph. In order to build this sample, they covered 40 galaxies that are actively forming stars within a distance of 10 Mpc. SITELLE was built in Canada and is the perfect instrument to survey these often-extended objects. 

With SIGNALS, we are seeking to increase our knowledge on how stars form in galaxies, how their birthplace affects their properties, and how multiple generations of stars transform galaxies. Stars continuously affect their environment by returning new elements to the interstellar gas. These new elements are then recycled to form new stars. Stars form in a wide variety of environments. These can be different galaxy to galaxy, location to location. The result is that each star has its own story. This will also help researchers to understand the star-formation history of the whole Universe since the Big-Bang. During this presentation, Dr. Laurie Rousseau-Nepton will introduce this ambitious project and the instrument SITELLE as well as show some results. See you there!

Laurie Rousseau-Nepton is a resident astronomer at the Canada-France-Hawaii Observatory and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii between 2017 and 2019. First indigenous woman in Canada to obtain a PhD in astrophysics, she received her diploma from Université Laval by studying regions of stellar formation in spiral galaxies. Laurie Rousseau-Nepton was a FRQNT postdoctoral scholarship recipient, previously received the Hubert Reeves Fellowship and the Award for native women in sciences of the Association des femmes diplômées des universités du Québec. She is now leading an international project called SIGNALS, aiming at observing thousands of newly born stars in galaxies close to the Milky Way to understand how their birthplace affect the rest of their life and the galaxies evolution. She is involved in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committees for the Canadian Association of Physicist and for the Maunakea Observatories and is devoted in promoting a community driven way to do science.

Who can attend: Everyone
Not required
Organized by: RASC, Toronto Centre