The dark and bright sides of massive early-type galaxies
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.
About the talk
University College of London