I’m sure all of us at one time or another have looked up at the heavens and wondered: where did we come from, and what are we made of. These are probably two of the oldest questions asked by human beings when they first gazed up at the night sky“The nitrogen in our DNA,” Carl Sagan says, “the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. Weare made of starstuff….If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
Carl Sagan says we’re made of starstuff. It sounds rather poetic. Are we really made from stuff from collapsing stars? And what is starstuff anyway? Can we be more precise than “stuff?” To help answer these questions, my guest on this Friday’s Delmarva Today: Writer’s Edition will be Dr. Grant Wilson an astrophysicist from the Astronomy Department at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass. Grant is leading a team of astronomers in building the next-generation, millimeter-wavelength polarimetric camera for studying the heavens. The camera will be part of the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) built on the summit of Serra Negra, an extinct volcano in Mexico and will be used to conduct surveys in star formation and galaxy evolution. Grant talks about what the camera will be looking for, why is it important to study galaxy formations, and how far back in time will it take us. Join us for a trip back in time, actually way back in time, to a look at the dust from which we are made.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll let you know also that Grant is my son.