“Chasing Oxygen” at Jan 23rd Meeting with Dr. Rick Pogge

Dr. Rogge with the red channel CCD camera for the MODS2 spectrograph at the LBT. It was taken during on-site re-integration and testing in the observatory instrument lab on top of Mt. Graham.

Our Guest Speaker is Dr. Pogge from Ohio State Astronomy Dept and he will be speaking about”Chasing Oxygen” at our monthly meeting in January! 

UPDATE: THANK YOU to all who attended – it was an AMAZING MEETING! Dr. Pogge enjoyed it so much that he decided to let us have his PPT slides for viewing! Click here to download the PDF of his presentation. 

The Big Bang made only hydrogen and helium plus tiny traces of lithium and deuterium. This is why hydrogen and helium are the primary chemical elements that make up the universe today.  However, here on Earth Oxygen is far and away the most abundant chemical element.  Oxygen makes up about 46% of Earth’s crust, 22% of the air we breathe, and 65% of mass of the human body. Where was all of the Oxygen made? How is it distributed throughout the Galaxy and eventually find its way into planets and people? This talk will explore the origin of the elements heavier than helium in the universe, and describe how astronomers measure and map the distribution of Oxygen in interstellar space.

Richard Pogge is a Professor of Astronomy and Vice Chair for Instrumentation at The Ohio State University. Prof. Pogge received a BS in physics from Caltech and a PhD in Astronomy & Astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz.  After being the W.J. McDonald Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas, he came to Ohio State in 1989 as a postdoctoral researcher. He then joined the faculty in 1992.