Found 185 talks archived in Galaxies

Tuesday May 15, 2012
Dr. Rubén Sánchez Janssen
European Southern Observatory


I will address the effects of bar-driven secular evolution in discs by comparing their properties in a sample of nearly 700 barred and unbarred massive galaxies. Through detailed structural decompositions I will show that, as a population, barred discs tend to have fainter central surface brightness and larger disc scale lengths than those of unbarred galaxies. Bars rarely occur in high-surface brightness discs and tend to reside in moderately blue discs. These results show that bars induce noticeable evolution in the structural properties of galaxy discs, in qualitative agreement with longstanding theoretical expectations.

Thursday May 10, 2012
Dr. Rachel Mason
Gemini Observatory


Low-luminosity AGN (LLAGN; LINERs and low-luminosity Seyferts) are present in numerous nearby galaxies and are often suggested to be the "missing link" between bright AGN and "normal", quiescent systems. Their accretion physics appear to differ from those of higher-luminosity AGN, and their place in the AGN unified scheme is not yet clear. Mid-IR observations promise new constraints on the accretion mechanisms and obscuring medium in LLAGN. However, their mid-IR emission remains almost completely unexplored at the high angular resolution needed to separate the weak nucleus from the host galaxy. I will show the results of an exploratory imaging study of ~20 LLAGN using Michelle and T-ReCS on the Gemini telescopes. Combined with Spitzer spectroscopy and high-resolution multi-wavelength information, the data establish, for the first time, the general nuclear IR properties of these objects. There are some hints that the obscuring torus disappears at low AGN luminosities, and we are also able to provide "dust-free" candidates for detailed study of the disk and jets.

Thursday April 26, 2012
Prof. Luis C. Ho
The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science, USA


Supermassive black holes are ubiquitous in galaxies and play a fundamental role in their life cycle. I will review observational progress in defining and refining the various empirical scaling relations between black hole masses and host galaxy properties. I will emphasize ways in which the intrinsic scatter of the scaling relations can be quantified, and present evidence that the scatter correlates with physical properties. I will describe how the scaling relations can be extended to active galaxies and summarize preliminary efforts to probe the evolution of these scaling relations with redshift. I will present new measurements of the cold ISM content in AGN host galaxies and constraints they place on currently popular models of AGN feedback. Lastly, I will discuss a new class of low-mass black holes in bulgeless and dwarf galaxies that serve as local analogs of seed supermassive black holes.

Thursday April 12, 2012
Dr. Lodovico Coccato


Stellar halos of galaxies offer an important laboratory to understand the galaxies’ formation process and evolution. In fact, the dynamic time scale in the halos are large, and the imprint of the formation mechanisms may still be preserved at large radii in the kinematics, in the orbital structure, in streams and substructures, or in the chemical composition and distribution of stars.

I will discuss i) the kinematic and dynamical properties of stellar halos in early type galaxies as derived from tracers like planetary nebulae and globular clusters; and ii) the stellar population properties as derived from deep long-slit spectra in a number of massive ellipticals. Results are then discussed in the framework of galaxy halo formation mechanisms.

Tuesday March 20, 2012
Miss Patricia S. Bessiere
University of Sheffield, UK


The mechanism by which AGN activity is triggered has long been debated. One, often suggested, method of doing so is major, gas-rich mergers and galaxy interactions. I will present deep Gemini GMOS-S images of a sample of type II quasar host galaxies, demonstrating that 75% show clear signs that they are undergoing some kind of interaction. We compare these results with a control sample of quiescent early-type galaxies and find a similar rate of interaction (68%). However, we also find that the surface brightness of the features of the type II quasars are up to 2 mags brighter than those for the control sample, suggesting a difference in the types of mergers that the two groups are undergoing. We also compare our results with those for a sample of powerful radio galaxies and find very similar values for the surface brightness of the detected features.

Thursday March 8, 2012
Dr. Tomás Verdugo
Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomía, Venezuela


Galaxy groups have an important role in the hierarchical assembly of structures in the Universe. Since galaxy groups are much more massive than galaxy-scale halos and are concentrated enough, they can act as lenses. The study of dark matter profiles can be very successfully using group-scale lenses, being that galaxy groups are quite abundant compared to galaxy clusters, and are easy to model. However, these have the disadvantage of the lack of constraints. In this talk, I will show how is possible to constrain the scale radius of the NFW profile using the velocity dispersion of the galaxy group. In particular I will present the results obtained with SL2SJ 02140-0535, a group which belongs to the Strong Lensing Legacy Survey - ARCS (SARCS) sample compiled from the final T0006 data release of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS).

Tuesday February 28, 2012
Dr. Almudena Alonso Herrero
Instituto de Astrofísica de Cantabria, Spain


Luminous Infrared Galaxies (LIR=10^11-10^12Lsun) have star formation rates in the range of ~20-200Msun/yr. In the local Universe ~50% LIRGs show AGN or AGN/SB composite nuclear activity from optical spectroscopy. We decompose Spitzer/IRS 5-35micron spectra of a complete sample of 50 local (d<75Mpc) LIRGs using SB and AGN clumpy torus model templates. We derive a mid-IR AGN detection rate in our sample of local LIRGs of 50%. We also compare the continuum mid-IR AGN detection with other indicators in the mid-IR, optical and X-rays. We estimate for the first time the AGN bolometric contribution to the IR luminosity of the galaxies in local LIRGs. We find that one-third of local LIRGs have LAGN(bol)/LIR>0.05, with only ~10% having a significant contribution LAGN(bol)/LIR>0.25. This is in line with results of Nardini et al. (2010) that only at LIR>3x10^12Lsun the AGN starts dominating bolometrically the IR luminosity in the majority of the systems.

Friday February 24, 2012
Dr. David Sobral
Leiden University, the Netherlands


I will present new deep and wide narrow-band surveys undertaken with UKIRT, Subaru and the VLT; a unique combined effort to select large, robust samples of H-alpha (Ha) emitters at z=0.40, 0.84, 1.47 and 2.23 (corresponding to look-back times of 4.2, 7.0, 9.2 and 10.6 Gyrs) in a uniform manner over ~2 sqdeg in the COSMOS and UDS fields. The deep multi-epoch Ha surveys are sensitive to Milky-Way SFRs out to z=2.2 for the first time, while the wide area and the coverage over two independent fields allows to greatly overcome cosmic variance. A total of over 600 sources per epoch are homogeneously selected. Overall, the evolution seen in Ha is in good agreement with the evolution seen using inhomogeneous compilations of other tracers of star formation, such as FIR and UV, jointly pointing towards the bulk of the evolution in the last 11 Gyrs being driven by a strong luminosity/SFR increase from z~0 to z~2.2. Our uniform analysis allows to derive the Ha star formation history of the Universe, for which a simple time-parametrisation is a good approximation for the last 11Gyrs. Both the shape and normalisation of the Ha star formation history are consistent with the measurements of the stellar mass density growth, confirming that our Ha analysis traces the bulk of the formation of stars in the Universe up to z~2.2. We are also exploring the large, multi-epoch and homogeneously selected samples of Ha emitters to conduct detailed morphology, dust, clustering, environment and mass studies which are providing us with a unique view on the evolution of star-forming galaxies and what has been driving it for the past 11 Gyrs.

Tuesday February 14, 2012
Dr. Carsten Weidner
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


Over the past years observations of young and populous star clusters have shown that the stellar initial mass function (IMF) can be conveniently described by a two-part power-law with an exponent alpha2 = 2.3 for stars more massive than about 0.5 Msol and an exponent of alpha1 = 1.3 for less massive stars. A consensus has also emerged that most, if not all, stars form in stellar groups and star clusters, and that the mass function of these can be described as a power-law (the embedded cluster mass function, ECMF) with an exponent beta ~2. These two results imply that the integrated galactic IMF (IGIMF) for early-type stars cannot be a Salpeter power-law, but that they must have a steeper exponent. An application to star-burst galaxies shows that the IGIMF can become top-heavy. This has important consequences for the distribution of stellar remnants and for the chemo-dynamical and photometric evolution of galaxies.

Thursday January 26, 2012
Mr. Thomas de Boer
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute Groningen, The Netherlands


We present the detailed Star Formation History of the nearby Sculptor and Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxies, from wide-field photometry of resolved stars, going down to the oldest Main Sequence Turn-Off. The accurately flux calibrated, wide-field Colour-Magnitude Diagrams are used directly in combination with spectroscopic metallicities of individual RGB stars to constrain the ages of different stellar populations, and derive the Star Formation History with particular accuracy.
The detailed Star Formation History shows the star formation at different ages and metallicities, at different positions in the galaxy, and shows that the known metallicity gradients are well matched to an age gradient. The obtained SFH is used to determine accurate age estimates for individual RGB stars, for which spectroscopic abundances (alpha-elements, r- and s-process elements) are known. In this way, we obtain the accurate age-metallicity relation of each galaxy, as well as the temporal evolution of alpha-element abundances.
This allows us to study, for the first time, the timescale of chemical evolution in these two dwarf galaxies, and determine an accurate age of the "knee" in the alpha-element distribution. Finally, we compare the timescale of chemical evolution in both dwarf galaxies, and determine whether the chemical abundance patterns seen in galaxies with recent episodes of star formation are a direct continuation of those with only old populations.

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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