Found 9 talks width keyword Galactic structure

Thursday November 25, 2021
Dr. Florent Renaud
Lund Observatory


The formation and evolution of galaxies across cosmic time proceeds in different phases, paced by their internal evolution and external factors like gas accretion and mergers. The complex and always changing interplay between these mechanisms drives the assembly of galaxies and the physical conditions for star formation, which leaves observable imprints on the stellar populations. Large astrometric and spectroscopic surveys (e.g. Gaia, APOGEE, GALAH) collect the signatures of these past events in the building history of the Milky Way. However, simulations and models are necessary to decode the data. In this talk, I will present results from a series of hydrodynamical simulations of Milky Way-like galaxies, both in isolation and in cosmological context using the VINTERGATAN simulation. I will show the crucial role of mergers, and of the end of the merger phase, in forming the thick and thin Galactic discs, and making the transition between the two. I will then nuance this conclusion by explaining why the secular consumption of gas enables a similar transition, as well as the emergence of spirals, without any external factors.

Thursday May 20, 2021
Dr. Guillaume Thomas


At present, our understanding of the formation history of the MW is limited due to the complexity of observing the imprints of accretion events and of reproducing them in numerical simulations. Moreover, though being the only galaxy, in which the Galactic potential can be probed in detail, the distribution of mass in the MW, and hence of the dark matter, is poorly constraint, especially at large distances. In addition, the MW is not isolated, and it has recently been suggested that the infall of the LMC can induce a perturbation in the stellar and dark matter distribution of the MW. As a consequence, the details of the formation history of our Galaxy are still unknown, such as the number of accretion events, the mass of the accreted galaxies, and the epoch of these events. Yet this information is crucial to understand our environment and to constrain the theoretical models and simulations that try to reproduce it.

One of the major challenges of the field is that a tremendous number of multi-aspect (astrometric, photometric and spectroscopic) observations at significant depth is required to study the morphology, the kinematics and the chemistry of the outskirts of our Galaxy, where are located the signatures of these events. Hopefully, the advent of recent and incoming complementary large surveys, such as the European Gaia mission, UNIONS (Ultraviolet Near Infrared Optical Northern Survey), Pristine, Pan-STARRS (PS), WEAVE or LSST (Legacy Survey of Space and Time), is offering a new global point of view on our Galaxy’s halo, allowing us to precisely probe the Galactic potential our the MW, and to retrace itsaccretion history.

In this talk I will present recent works that have been conducted to better catarerized our Galaxy and its history with some of the existing surveys mentioned above. In addition, I will present the major improvement that will bring this new generation of large, multi-aspect surveys, to study both our Galactic history, as well as the fundamental nature of the dark matter.

Thursday May 13, 2021
Prof. Diego Blas
Imperial College


Bosonic ultra-light dark matter (ULDM) in the mass range m ~ $10^{-22} - 10^{-21} \rm eV$ has been invoked as a motivated candidate with new input for the small-scale `puzzles' of cold dark matter. Numerical simulations show that these models form cored density distributions at the center of galaxies ('solitons'). These works also found an empirical scaling relation between the mass of the large-scale host halo and the mass of the central soliton. We show that this relation predicts that the peak circular velocity of the outskirts of the galaxy should approximately repeat itself in the central region. Contrasting this prediction to the measured rotation curves of well-resolved near-by galaxies, we show that ULDM in the mass range m ~ $10^{-22} - 10^{-21} \rm eV$ is in tension with the data.

Tuesday November 3, 2020
Drs. Paola Di Matteo
Observatoire de Paris


Reconstructing the past of the Milky Way depends on the study of its metal-poor stars, which either have been formed in the Galaxy itself in the first billion years, or have been accreted through mergers of satellite galaxies over time. These stars are usually found in what is known as the Milky Way halo, a light — in terms of total mass —  stellar component which is usually made of stars whose kinematics significantly deviates from that of the Galactic disc.
In this talk, I will discuss how it has been possible to use the astrometric and spectroscopic data delivered by Gaia and complementary surveys  to shed light on the past of our Galaxy, through the study of its halo. Besides the discovery of the possible last significant merger experienced by the Milky Way, the use of 6D phase space information and chemical abundances allowed to reconstruct the impact this merger had on the early Milky Way disc, and the time it occurred, as well as to discover that some of the most metal-poor stars in the Galaxy possibly formed in a disc.  This last finding would imply that the dissipative collapse that led to the formation of the old Galactic disc must have been extremely fast.


Thursday November 23, 2017
Prof. Sofia Feltzing
Lund University


Galactic Archeology is today a vibrant field of research. The adoption and launch of the Gaia astrometric satellite by ESA has resulted in many spectroscopic Galactic surveys that aim to complement the Gaia data with information (for the fainter Gaia stars) about stellar elemental abundances, radial velocities, and stellar parameters. This results in multi-dimensional data sets which will allow us to put the Milky Way stellar populations into a much broader galactic context, eg by comparing with models and galaxies at large look-back times. In this talk I will review a selection of recent exciting developments in Galactic Archeaology found via on-going surveys as well as look to the future and see what surveys like 4MOST and WEAVE will bring.  The proposed surveys will be put into a wider context of past, on-going and future spectroscopic surveys and how this can all be combined to understand the Milky Way as a galaxy.

Thursday February 6, 2014
Dr. Elena Pancino
INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna


Gaia - the ESA cornerstone astrometric mission - was launched in December 2013, with the goal of censing the Milky Way population in a 6D space (positions and velocity) of 10^9 point-like obects, with errors
100-1000 times smaller than Hipparcos, with three color magnitudes and spectra as well. The scientific impact of its data will be large in many fields of astrophysics, from Galactic science, to Solar system objects, to stellar astrophysics, to galaxies and Quasars; from the distance ladder revision to fundamental physics. I will describe the mission concept, the scientific goals, and the present status of the mission, with special attention to the flux calibration of Gaia data.

Thursday January 9, 2014
Dr. Manuela Zoccali
Universidad Católica de Chile


The structure, kinematics and stellar population of the Galactic bulge is very complex. Only three years ago the bulge was discovered to be X-shaped, a structure believed to originate from the dynamical instabilities of a disk, through the formation and posterior heating of a bar. The study of its kinematics reveals a cylindrical rotation, typical of a bar, suggesting the absence of a spheroidal component. Nevertheless, the bulge stellar population is old, has a radial metallicity gradient, and element ratio indicative of a short formation timescale. All these elements conflict with a simplistic view of the bulge as a heated bar, formed via "secular" evolution of a disk. I will review our knowledge of the bulge properties as traced by the 3D structure, kinematics, and chemical composition of its red clump stars.

Thursday April 19, 2012
Dr. Carlos González Fernández
Universidad de Alicante, Spain


Abstract: The study of the structure of our Galaxy, particularly its inner disc, has always been hindered by two factors: interstellar extinction dims even the brightest stars at optical wavelengths and the high source density prevents us, as the proverbial trees, to see the big galactic picture. 

With this talk we give a broad introduction of the historical efforts to alleviate these issues in the neverending quest to dig deeper into the Milky Way, followed by a overview of the first results obtained by the VVV-Vista survey, that maps the southern Galactic sky with unprecedent depth and resolution.

Thursday March 18, 2010
Prof. James J. Binney
Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, Oxford University, UK


The study of the Milky is expected to have a major impact on our understanding of how galaxies form and evolve. "Near-field cosmology" is being vigorously pursued through a series of major surveys of the Galaxy's stellar content (2-MASS, SDSS, RAVE, Hermes, Apogee, Gaia) that are either in hand or pending. It will be argued that what we want to know is deeply buried in these data and can only be extracted by comparing the surveys with a hierarchy of dynamical models of ever increasing complexity. Work currently being done to build such hierarchical models will be described, and some early results from this work will be summarised.

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