NANOCOSMOS is an ERC project that investigates the processes involved in the formation and evolution of cosmic dust, heretofore unknown: several teams from ICMM-CSIC in Madrid, Spain and the IRAP-CNRS in Toulouse, France are taking advantage of the new observational capabilities of the ALMA observatory in order to reveal the physical and chemical conditions in the dust formation zone of evolved stars. In conjunction with groundbreaking ultra-high vacuum experiments and astrophysical modeling, these observations are providing a cutting-edge view of cosmic dust.

Our story is set in 2106, and mankind is radically evolving. The NANOCOSMOS project has changed the path of astrochemistry and astrophysics, and now is the time for an elderly Estrella Leroux to pass the torch to three young scientists. Yet the story of an impossible journey of a young Estrella as a child inside the “Stardust” (a groundbreaking machine that reproduces the processes of a dying star) calls everything into question. The three budding stargazers will discover that their destiny is bound up with the mysterious Estrella’s, on the border between a surprising past and a never-so-uncertain future!

Next episode will be out on January 25

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Christine Joblin (researcher)

Christine Joblin studied physics at the University of Strasbourg and the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. She then specialized in astrophysics and obtained her PhD in 1992 at the University of Paris 7. After a post-doctoral stay at NASA Ames in California, she became a CNRS research scientist at the University of Toulouse (France), where she works as a Research Director in the IRAP institute. Her work contributes to a better understanding of large carbonaceous molecules in space by combining laboratory astrophysics activities and observations with space missions (ISO, Spitzer, Herschel). She has published 140 articles in main journals in astrophysics and physical chemistry/chemical physics. She was awarded with the CNRS Silver Medal in 2015 and with the Légion d'Honneur in 2016.

José Cernicharo (researcher)

José Cernicharo studied physics at the University of Madrid and received his Docteur d'Etat ès Sciences degree in 1988 at the University of Paris VII. He has worked at the CNRS (1983-1988; France) and the National Astronomical Observatory (1988-1996, Spain). Since 1996 he has been a research professor at the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid-CSIC. Cernicharo has published 447 papers in main journals on astrophysics, spectroscopy and chemical physics (16300 citations). His central research areas are interstellar medium and late type stars (i.e., physical conditions of molecular clouds, radiative transfer, chemistry, spectroscopy, search for new molecules, and masers), infrared astrophysics, radio astronomy and radio telescopes. Since 1998 he has been a mission scientist for the Herschel satellite of ESA.

José Ángel Martín-Gago (researcher)

José Ángel Martín-Gago received a PhD in Physical Sciences and is currently a research professor at the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid-CSIC. He is leader of the ESISNA group where the structure of nanometric-scale systems are studied by means of ultra-high vacuum equipment and surface science techniques. He is the author of over 150 publications in scientific journals in nanotechnology, instrumentation and organic molecules on surfaces, as well as of several books on scientific and outreach matters. Martin-Gago is currently president of the Spanish Vacuum Society (ASEVA).

Lorenzo Palloni (artist)

Born in Arezzo (Italy) in 1987, Lorenzo Palloni is an award winning writer and comic artist. He was published twice in the annual review YOUNGBLOOD and has participated in projects supported by the European Union. Palloni one of the founders of the comics collective MAMMAIUTO; author and illustrator of several webcomics (MOONED, UN LUNGO CAMMINO, IL CUGINO, ESATTO); author of the graphic novel THE CORNER, illustrated by Andrea Settimo (Sarbacane Editions, 2014) and author of the graphic novel L’ÎLE (Sarbacane Editions, 2016) and LA LOUVE (Sarbacane Editions, 2017). He is currently working on multiple forthcoming books for both French and Italian publishers.