Jan 9, 2013 - Cosmic train wrecks: when galaxies collide - Jillian Scudder

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Spiral Galaxy NGC 4038 in Collision - Hubble/APOD - Danny Lee RussellJan 9, 2013  - Cosmic train wrecks: when galaxies collide - Jillian Scudder, 4th year Ph.D student at the University of Victoria

Galaxy interactions create some of the most dramatic and photogenic objects in the Universe. These galaxies are going through a very tumultuous period in their lives, but how lasting are the changes these galaxies go through? I will provide a review of the basic structure of an undisturbed galaxy and some of its key observable properties. We can then investigate how these properties change in a galaxy with a nearby companion, and what these changes can tell us about the internal workings of the galaxy. We are then presented with a series of new questions. How complex is the evolution of these properties as an interaction progresses? Is the current simple physical model sufficient, or do we need to nuance our model in order to understand recent observations? More fundamentally, are these extragalactic train wrecks fleeting moments in a galaxy's lifetime, or do the changes have long-lasting effects upon a galaxy? In this talk, I will present new results that will help to answer these questions.

Presentation (40Mb pdf)

Bio: Jillian M Scudder completed a Bachelors in Physics & Astronomy and French and Francophone studies at Macalester College in Minnesota. She is now a 4th year Ph.D student at the University of Victoria, working with Dr. Sara Ellison. Her research has focused on the impacts of galaxy interactions and mergers on the gas and internal dynamics of local galaxies.

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Last updated: January 29, 2014

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