Let there be light -- faint galaxies and their pathways of formation
Swinburne University of Technology
December 12th, 2017
Only once in a generation is there the opportunity to reveal the basic properties of a new galaxy type for the first time. With the advent of more sensitive instruments in the current large telescopes, an entirely new universe is being revealed, as it had never been seen before. And it is a challenging one, a low-luminosity universe that is populated by a myriad of new galaxies that are classified into new fancy families: the ultra-compact dwarfs (UCDs), the compact ellipticals (cEs) and the ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs).
Despite some attempts to characterize and understand such galaxies, a recurrent topic prevails: what are they really? Are they intrinsic objects, i.e. were they formed as we see them now?; or were they initially other types of galaxies that have later evolved due to external interactions, which shaped them into what we see now? In the case of cEs, we have been lucky enough to catch some of them 'in the act', being stripped by a larger galaxy. However, at the same time, some of them have been found to be completely isolated and with no signs of interaction. In this talk, I will discuss the different pathways for cE formation and the expectations from their super massive black holes. I will also show how a similarly detailed study for all the faint families together can provide crucial clues for the galaxy evolution paradigm.