Friday 5th May 2017 - 8:00pm
Topic: Cannibals and Ghosts: A Look at the Tumultuous Lives of Large Galaxies
Speaker: Professor Annette Ferguson, Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: It is commonly thought that large galaxies like our Milky Way have interacted with hundreds of smaller satellite companions throughout their lifetimes. These interactions not only destroy the smaller galaxies through tidal disruption but can profoundly shape the properties of the massive host, especially in their outer regions. I will present recent examples of these cannibalistic events in our own Milky Way and in other nearby galaxies, and discuss how these observations are helping us to reconstruct the histories of galaxies. I will highlight the particular role that forthcoming observational facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope, Euclid and the LSST will play in significantly advancing this research field.
Biography: Annette Ferguson is a Professor of Observational Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Prior to joining the academic staff in Edinburgh in 2005, she held postdoctoral fellowships in Munich, Groningen and Cambridge. She conducted her PhD work at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and was an undergraduate at the University of Toronto. She specialises in understanding the histories of nearby galaxies through examining the fossil record contained in their resolved stellar populations.