Found 185 talks archived in Galaxies

Thursday December 20, 2012
Prof. Clive Tadhunter
University of Sheffield


In the 50 years since their discovery, it has become increasingly recognised that quasars are not merely signposts to the distant Universe, but also play a key role in the overall galaxy evolution process. However, if we are to incorporate quasars into models of galaxy evolution, it's important to understand how, when and where they are triggered. In this talk I will review the latest observational results on the triggering of quasars, based on the morphologies of their host galaxies and star formation properties; I will also discuss the future prospects for understanding quasar triggering using Herschel and ALMA data.

Thursday December 13, 2012
Dr. Eduardo Bataner
Universidad de Granada


Hablaré de tres caprichos. El primero pretende responder a la pregunta: ¿Existen lentes magnéticas en el Cosmos? El segundo trata de un problema de Milagro, viendo cómo el campo magnético de nuestra galaxia puede resolver la anisotropía en la distribución de rayos cósmicos de unos 10 TeV. El tercero considera las curvas de rotación de algunas galaxias espirales que tras haber alcanzado la velocidad asintótica, vuelve a tener pendiente positiva.

Tuesday December 4, 2012
Dr. Sharon Meidt
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Germany


Gas kinematics on the scales of Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs) are essential for probing the framework that links the large-scale organization of interstellar gas to cloud formation and subsequent star formation. I will present an overview of results from the PdBI Arcsecond Whirlpool Survey (PAWS, PI: E. Schinnerer), which has mapped CO(1-0) emission over 9 kpc in the nearby grand-design spiral galaxy M51 at 40 pc resolution, and is sensitive to giant molecular clouds (GMCs) with masses above 10^5 Msun. This unprecedented view challenges the conventional picture of how molecular gas is structured and organized in galaxies: clouds are not ‘universal’, but respond to their environment, resulting in a diversity of cloud properties that not only depend on (dynamical) environment but also vary from galaxy to galaxy. I will discuss how this sensitivity to environment emerges, in consideration of the stability of M51’s GMCs (including the effects of pressure, shear, turbulence) and our view of non-circular motions in the gas disk. As a result of the strong streaming motions that arise due to departures from axisymmetry in the gravitational potential (i.e. the nuclear bar and spiral arms), embedded clouds feel a reduced surface pressure, which can prevent collapse. This dynamical pressure naturally leads to changes in the efficiency of star formation and hence gas depletion time along the spiral arms. I will show that local reductions to cloud surface pressure in M51 dominate over shear and star formation feedback-driven turbulence in determining the observed radial variation the depletion time. I will also describe how incorporating a dynamical pressure term to the canonical free-fall time produces a single star formation law that can be applied to all star-forming regions and galaxies, across cosmic time.

Thursday November 8, 2012
Prof. Piet van der Kruit
University Groningen


Disks in spiral galaxies consist of stars and gas. The stellar disks show radially an exponential surface brightness distribution (and vertically one resembling an isothermal sheet), with relatively sharp truncations at of order 4 scalelengths. These truncations are most easily seen in edge-on galaxies. The evidence for these truncations and their statistics will be reviewed. Truncations appear to be not only truncations in the distribution of stars, but also in the total density. The origin of these truncations seem related to the maximum specific angular momentum in the material that formed the disks. Disks are extremely flat. The HI-gas often extends beyond the eructations in the stellar disks, but when they do they also show a warp. Again edge-on galaxies show this mostly readily. Analysis shows that the warps start abruptly, just beyond the truncation radius and some other properties also show abrupt changes at the radius of the onset of the warp. This suggests that warps are the result of infall of gas at later times, when the formation of the stellar disks has been completed. The open issue is still that we have not conclusively shown that we can discover the face-on analogs of the truncations we see in edge-on disk. I will outline some recent research I have been involved in and some ideas for further work and collaborations.

Thursday September 20, 2012
Dr. Gavin Dalton
University of Oxford


I will describe the major scientific motivation and outline design concept for a new 2 degree field, 1000 fibre multi-object spectroscopy facility for the WHT. WEAVE is expected to be completed by early 2017 and will be capable of addressing a wide range of Galactic and extra-Galactic goals, covering the redial velocity follow-up to the full depth of the Gaia astrometric catalogue, stellar abundances and chemical labelling in the Galactic halo, galaxy evolution from integral field studies and from the identification of the LOFAR source population, and Cosmology. The instrument is complex, but not necessarily challenging, and will provide a major resource for the whole ING community for the next decade.

Thursday July 12, 2012
Dr. Sébastien Comerón
Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute


Thick discs are disc-like components with a scale height larger than that of the classical discs. They are  most easily detected in close to edge-on galaxies in which they appear as a roughly exponential excess of light which appears a few thin disc scale heights above the midplane. Their origin has been considered mysterious until recently and several formation theories have been proposed. Unveiling the origin of thick discs is important for understanding galaxy evolutionary processes.
I will review the results we obtained on thick discs using data from the S4G:
1) Thick discs are ubiquitous.
2) Thick discs are much more massive than previously thought. This advocates for an in situ origin of thick discs at high redshift and for them being a reservoir of missing baryons.
3) The superposition of thin and thick discs with different scale lengths is the reason of at least half of disc antitruncations.

Thursday July 5, 2012
Dr. Ignacio Ferreras
University College of London


Massive early-type galaxies constitute an ideal test bed to probe our understanding of galaxy formation and evolution. Their high mass, spheroidal morphology and overly old stellar populations, along with their presence over a wide range of redshifts put to the test our current paradigm of formation via hierarchical growth. In this talk I will review recent work focused on the dark and bright sides of this problem. The former is tackled via gravitational lensing, comparing the dark matter and luminous components out to several effective radii, probing the efficiency of baryon collapse and ejection, and its feedback on the dark matter distribution (adiabatic compression). The bright side of early-type galaxies is approached via photo-spectroscopic analyses of the stellar populations, revealing a complex formation and assembly history with two well-defined phases of growth, and an intriguing connection with the "microphysics" of star formation.

Tuesday June 26, 2012
Dr. Jonathan Heiner
Centro de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica, Morelia, Mexico


A simple model using the balance of photodissociation assuming a one-dimensional plane-parallel model yields total hydrogen volume densities for a column of atomic hydrogen under the influence of a far-ultraviolet radiation field. This can be applied wherever atomic hydrogen can be assumed to be the product of photodissociation, or perhaps where it is being kept in its atomic state because of the local radiation field. I have previously applied this model to the nearby spiral galaxies M33, M81 and M83 in the past, but the application is mostly manual and cumbersome. In order to make this method suitable to apply to larger samples of galaxies, we developed an automated procedure that identifies candidate PDRs, calculates the balance of photodissociation at locations where PDR-produced HI can be expected and provides total hydrogen volume densities. We applied the procedure to M83 as a consistency check. It is also ready to take advantage of the latest integral field spectroscopy data (metallicity), which we did in the case of M74. In principle this procedure is most suitable to probe the diffuse interstellar medium at the edges of HII regions in other galaxies than our own. However, if detailed morphological information is already available, we can improve our understanding of the method by applying it to very specific cases, such as parts of the Taurus molecular cloud. While the results are highly sensitive to the local morphology, they can potentially be used as an independent probe of the molecular gas.

Thursday June 21, 2012
Prof. Françoise Combes
Observatoire de Paris, LERMA. France


I will review some recent results about the molecular content of galaxies and its dynamics, obtained from CO lines, dense tracers (HCN,HCO+), or the dust continuum emission. New data to constrain the conversion factor XCO will be discussed. The molecular surface density is essential to determine the star formation efficiency in galaxies, and the resolved Kennicutt-Schmidt law will be presented as a function of surface density and galaxy type. Large progress has been made on galaxy at moderate and high redshifts, allowing to interprete the star formation history and star formation efficiency as a function of gas content, or galaxy evolution. In massive galaxies, the gas fraction was higher in the past, and galaxy disks were more unstable and more turbulent. ALMA observations will allow the study of more normal galaxies at high z with higher spatial resolution and sensitivity.

Thursday June 7, 2012
Dr. Juan Uson
observatoire de Paris - LERMA


Superthin galaxies are bulgeless, late-type spiral galaxies seen edge-on.  HI synthesis observations probe the kinematic structure of their interstellar medium.  Observations of these isolated, quiescent galaxies have reached column densities as low as few x 1018  atoms . cm-2 .  The simple structure of the superthins makes them ideal cosmological laboratories (Uson and Matthews 2003). The strength of the cosmic UV background has a strong influence on the formation of structure in the Universe, from the inhibition of the collapse of small haloes to the ionizing escape fraction in galaxies to the global star formation history.  We have used the VIRUS-P integral-field spectrometer on the University of Texas McDonald Observatory 2.7m telescope to observe the edge of the superthin galaxies UGC7321 and UGC1281 in the Hα emission line, limiting the strength of the local UV background below theoretical expectations (Adams et al., 2011).  New,  observations (March 2011) have improved the sensitivity significantly.  The Hα layer shows a peak brightness of  Σ = 1.0 x 10-19 erg s-1 cm-2 arcsec-2 Å-1 (~7σ)  for spectra smoothed with a 15″ spatial kernel.  This leads to a measurement of the cosmic UV background induced HI photoionization rate Γ = 2.0 x 10-14 s-1 (~7σ, preliminary absolute calibration, Uson et al, BAAS 44, 312-01, 2012).  Contrary to past observational attempts, our measurements covered a large, two-dimensional on-sky area. We reach flux limits that are ~50 times fainter than the sky background with significant smoothing over spatial elements and a sky background model that accounts for variations in the spectral resolution of our instrument.

Upcoming talks

  • Astro-African memories
    Dr. Cristina Martínez Lombilla
    Thursday January 17, 2019 - 10:30  (Aula)
  • TBD
    Beatriz Villarroel
    Thursday January 24, 2019 - 10:30  (Aula)

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