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Photograph of Adam McKay

Adam McKay Adjunct Asst Professor Department of Physics

Comets consist of primitive material that has experienced little processing since the formation of the Solar System. This makes comets important tools for understanding the composition and environment of the protosolar disk during the planet-forming period. Comets are rich in ices, making them particularly invaluable in constraining the formation of volatiles in the protosolar disk and their subsequent incorporation into planetary bodies. Comets are also potential sources for Earth's water and organic precursors, material responsible for the origin of life as we know it. My research specialty is employing optical and
near-infrared high spectral resolution observations of comets to study their chemical and isotopic composition and relate this to models of planet formation.
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Department of Physics
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