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Program

The conference will be organised in five different sessions focused on the most relevant fields of star formation where cosmic rays play a crucial role, plus a final general discussion. Depending of the received contributed talks, this scheme may sugger slight changes. The final program will be announced once the registration is closed.

SESSION 1: ROLE OF COSMIC RAYS IN STAR AND PLANET FORMATION

  • The ionisation fraction affects the gas-magnetic field coupling, driving the dissipation of turbulence and angular momentum transfer, thus playing a crucial role in protostellar collapse and accretion discs;
  • Cosmic rays are also a source of heating for molecular clouds because of the energy of secondary electrons produced by the ionisation process and by the products of exothermic reactions;
  • In the inner parts of a cloud, cosmic rays may influence the distribution of charge on dust grains and therefore the rate at which grains coagulate to form larger conglomerates, a fundamental mechanism for the formation of planetesimals.

SESSION 2: COSMIC-RAY FINGERPRINTS IN DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS

  • Estimates of the ionisation rate from observations in diffuse clouds, prestellar cores, protostars, and protoplanetary discs.

SESSION 3: THE IMPACT OF COSMIC RAYS ON THE FORMATION OF INTERSTELLAR MOLECULES (OBSERVATIONS, MODELS, AND LABORATORY)

  • Cosmic rays are the primary source of ionisation in dense molecular clouds shielded by the interstellar UV radiation field, and then produce molecular ions and electrons that activate a rich chemistry in the dense cold gas, leading to the formation of molecules of increasing complexity, up to pre-biotic and possibly biotic molecules.
  • Cosmic rays also induce stochastic heating on dust grains, allowing surface radicals to move faster at lower temperature, increasing the formation of complex organic molecules and desorbing them from dust grains directly or via secondary UV photons.

SESSION 4: COSMIC-RAY FACTORIES: LOCAL ACCELERATION IN PROTOSTARS

  • Recent theories on local acceleration of cosmic rays inside protostars can explain the synchrotron emission and the extremely high cosmic-ray ionisation rate observed in protostellar jet shocks as well as the overabundance of 10Be in meteorites due to spallation reactions.
  • Comparison of the different sources of irradiation in protoplanetary discs (X rays, cosmic rays, UV).

SESSION 5: COSMIC RAYS AND THE ORIGIN OF LIFE (ISM, COMETS, PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES, AND EARLY EARTH)

  • An habitable planet orbiting a Sun-like star is subject to high-energy particle fluxes that can play a crucial role in the formation of complex organic molecules, even contributing to the origin of life.
  • Cosmic rays deposit significant amount of energy on cometary surfaces and planets that can modify their molecular composition and isotopic ratios.
  • Cosmic rays lead to the formation of pre-biotic molecules and also cause the depletion of the atmospheric ozone layer that is known to block UVB radiation. The latter directly interacts with the DNA, causing genetic damage.