Western astronomers key players in new NASA collaborative project


By Communications Staff
Monday, August 2, 2010
Els Peeters and Jan Cami, both astronomy professors at The University of Western Ontario, are members of a unique collaborative effort currently underway at NASA Ames Research Center to release a one-of-a-kind collection of infrared spectra onto the World Wide Web.
Duplicating the harsh conditions of cold interstellar space in their laboratories and computers, NASA scientists created a unique collection of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) spectra primarily to interpret mysterious infrared emission detected by ground, air, and space-based observatories. Besides being of great interest to astronomers, the value of the PAH spectral database extends far beyond the immediate needs of NASA and astronomy.
A PAH spectral database has a large and very diverse set of important applications. PAHs are a major product of combustion, they remain in the environment, and they are carcinogenic. Consequently they are important, for example, to scientists, educators, policy makers, and consultants working in the fields of medicine, health, chemistry, fuel composition, engine design, environmental assessment, environmental monitoring, and environmental protection. This PAH database is a new tool for people working in all of these fields.
The complete NASA release can be found at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2010/10-65AR.html)
For interviews, please email Els Peeters, who is currently conducting research in Moffett Field, California, directly at epeeters@uwo.ca
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, The University of Western Ontario, 519-520-7281 (mobile) 













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